liinfM 1 1 HI
FROM THE LIBRARY OF
REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON. D. D.
BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO
THE LIBRARY OF
PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Princeton Theological Seminary Library
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Wl I li I /|f
Stories of the Origin, Authorship,
and Use of Hymns We Love
WILLIAM LEE HUNTON
EDITOR OF "YOUXG FOLKS," ASSOCIATE EDITOR OF "THE LUTHERAN,"
"THE LUTHERAN GRADED SERIES," AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS
THE GENERAL COUNCIL PUBLICATION HOUSE
Copyright, 191 7, by the
Board of Publication of the General Council
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in North America
All rights reserved
EMMA HOPPE HUNTON
My beloved wife
Whose love for and knowledge of the hymns
of the Church proved a source of inspiration and
help in the preparation of these stories of the
hymns, this volume is affectionately dedicated.
Advent Hymns 9-14
O how shall I receive Thee?
On Jordan's banks the herald's cry.
Thou Judge of quick and dead.
Rejoice, all ye believers.
Our E.\rliest Christmas Hymns i5~2i
The Gloria in Excelsis.
The Nunc Dimittis.
Well Known Christmas Hymns 22-33
Angels from the realms of glory.
While shepherds watched their flocks by night.
Hark! the herald-angels sing.
Hark ! what mean those holy voices?
Sion, the marvellous story be telling.
Good news from heaven the angels bring.
Away in a manger, no crib for His bed.
O little town of Bethlehem.
It came upon the midnight clear.
Calm on the listening ear of night.
Silent night! Holy night!
Hymns tor the New Year 34-42
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds.
Jesus ! Name of wondrous love !
There is no name so sweet on earth.
Our God, our Help in ages past.
Great God! we sing that mighty Hand.
O God of Jacob, by whose hand.
Another year is damning.
A few more years shall roll.
Brief life is here our portion.
One sweetly solemn thought.
While with ceaseless course the sun,
Come, let us anew our journey pursue.
Epiphany Hymns 43-48
As with gladness men of old.
Songs of thankfulness and praise.
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning.
Light of the Gentile nations.
Missionary Hymns 49-56
From Greenland's icy mountains.
The Son of God goes forth to war.
Jesus shall reign where'er the sun.
Thou, whose almighty word.
Saviour, sprinkle many nations.
Hymns of Penitence 57-63
Out of the depths I cry to Thee.
God of mercy ! God of grace !
Show pity, Lord; O Lord! forgive.
Just as I am, without one plea.
Lenten Hymns 64-74
Alas ! and did my Saviour bleed.
When I survey the wondrous Cross.
Hail, Thou once despised Jesus!
Paschal Lamb by God appointed.
Jesus, Hail! enthroned in glory.
O sacred Head, now wounded.
Go to dark Gethsemane.
Glory be to Jesus.
In the Cross of Christ I glory.
Hymns for Palm Sunday 75-83
All glory, praise, and honor.
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Oh, help us, Lord! each hour of need.
When His salvation bringing.
O Thou, who through this holy week.
All hail the power of Jesus' name!
Hail, holy, holy, holy Lord!
Easter Hymns 84-97
The strife is o'er, the battle done!
Welcome, happy m.orning! age to age shall say.
Christ Jesus lay in Death's strong bands.
Christ the Lord is ris'n today.
Christ the Lord is risen again.
Christ the Lord is risen today.
The day of Resurrection!
Shepherd Hymns 98-103
The Lord my Shepherd is.
Saviour, like a shepherd lead us.
I am Jesus' little lamb.
I thirik, when I read that sweet story of old.
Shepherd of tender youth.
Hymns of the Ascension 104-112
Conquering Prince and Lord of glory.
A hymn of glory let us sing.
See the Conqueror mounts in triumph.
Draw us to Thee, Lord Jesus.
Hail the day that sees Him rise.
Hymns to the Holy Spirit 113-125
Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord!
Now pray we all God, the Comforter.
Come, O come, Thou quickening Spirit.
Holy Spirit, enter in.
Oh, enter. Lord, Thy temple.
Come, Holy Ghost, in love.
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire.
Hymns to the Holy Trinity 126-134
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Ahnighty!
Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us.
Come, Thou almighty King.
Hail! holy, holy, holy Lord.
Hail, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
All glory be to God on high.
Holy Father, hear my cry.
Holy, holy, holy Lord.
May the grace of Christ our Saviour.
Hymns of the Christian Life I35""i43
Jesus, still lead on.
Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness.
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah.
He leadeth me! O blessed thought!
One sweetly solemn thought.
Hymns of Christian Service 144-149
A charge to keep I have.
Ye servants of the Lord.
We give Thee but Thine own.
Take my life and let it be.
1 gave My life for thee.
Morning Hymns 150-158
Come, my soul, thou must be waking.
Jesus, Sun of Righteousness.
Awake, my soul, and with the sun.
The morning bright.
Evening Hhymns 159-168
Softly now the light of day.
Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear.
Now hushed are woods and waters.
Abide with me ! fast falls the eventide.
Saviour, breathe an evening blessing.
A Hymn of Petition and a Hymn of Trust 169-175
Here behold me, as I cast me.
A deep and holy awe.
My faith looks up to Thee.
Luther's Hymn Against the Turk and the Pope 176-179
Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy word.
The Battle-Hymn of Protestantism x8o-i86
A Mighty Fortress is our God.
Hymns on the Church 187-192
Glorious things of thee are spoken.
The Church's one foundation.
I love Thy Zion, Lord.
Zion stands with hills surrounded.
O where are kings and empires now?
Christian War Hymns 193-201
Fear not, O little flock, the foe.
When in the hour of utmost need.
Onward, Christian soldiers.
Hymns of Thanksgiving 202-207
Now thank we all our God.
Lord God, we worship Thee!
Come, ye thankful people, come.
Before the Lord we bow.
PATiaoTic Hymns 208-215
My country, 'tis of thee.
God bless cnir native land !
Oh, say, can you sec by the dawn's early light.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
Hymns of Comfort 216-224
My Jesus, as Thou wilt!
Commit thou all thy griefs.
If thou but suffer God to guide thee.
I would not live alway; I ask not to stay.
Hymns Concerning Death and Burial 225-231
Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep.
Jesus Christ, my sure defence.
A pilgrim and a stranger.
Jerusalem, the golden.
General Favorites 232-246
Jesus, Lover of my soul.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me.
Nearer, my God, to Thee.
The Te Deum, a Great International Anthem 247-252
We praise Thee, O God!
Index of First Lines 255
Index of Persons 259
The Announcement to the Shepherds Frontispiece
The ANNUNaATioN 15
Felix Mendelssohn 26
Phtt.tp Doddridge 38
Christ in the Temple 43
Bishop Heber 51
Hoffman's Gethsemane 67
The Triumph.\l Entry 75
CiL\RLES Wesley 95
The Good Shepherd 98
Christ Blessing Little Children 102
Paul Gerhardt 119
Phoebe Carey 135
Bishop Ken 150
Martin Luther 182
John Newton 187
GusTAvus Adolphus 19s
Francis Scott Key 206
Samuel Francis Smith 210
William Augustus Muhlenberg 222
Augustus M. Toplady 239
The writing of these pages was an accident and a pleas-
ure. An editorial emergency called forth the first article;
our personal interest induced several others; then the in-
terest of our readers requested the series. Favorable
comments and the expressed desire of not a few to have
the articles in permanent form explain the appearance of
As a member of the committee which had charge of
the preparation of the new Lutheran Common Service
Book with Hymnal we were led to assemble a four foot
shelf of books on Liturgies and Hymnology which vol-
umes we have freely consulted. Grateful acknowledg-
ment is here made to the many distinguished writers
on hymnology whose interesting and valuable writings
we have read and compared and assimilated. We trust
that the work has been done in such a way as to give a
new, fresh and interesting story of a number of the
Favorite Hymns which are most widely loved and used.
We hope that every reader of these pages will miss from
the incomplete list of Favorite Hymns here treated some of
the hymns he most dearly loves, and that his interest will
be so aroused as to send him to the libraries to find the
same pleasure we have found and which has been our
If the reader is as interested in the reading as we were
in the writing then these chapters will have the fascination
of fiction. We therefore send them forth in the firm
belief that they will prove helpful in making many ap-
preciative of the hymns they sing and able to draw
more knowledge and worship out of the songs of the
William Lee Hunton.
Written in the Quadricentennial Jubilee
Year of the Birth of Protestantism.
O HOW SH.\LL I RECEIVE THEE?
Ol HOW shall I receive Thee,
I How greet Thee, Lord, aright?
AH nations long to see Thee,
My Hope, my heart's dehght!
kindle, Lord most holy,
Thy lamp within my breast,
To do in spirit lowly
All that may please Thee best.
Thy Zion palms is strewing,
And branches fresh and fair;
My heart, its powers renewing,
An anthem shall prepare.
My soul puts oflE her sadness
Thy glories to proclaim;
With all her strength and gladness
She fain would serve Thy name.
1 lay in fetters groaning,
Thou comest to set me free!
I stood, my shame bemoaning,
Thou comest to honor me!
A glory Thou dost give me,
A treasure safe on high,
That will not fail nor leave me
As eajrthly riches fly.
lO FAVORITE HYMNS
Love caused Thy incarnation,
Love brought Thee down to me.
Thy thirst for my salvation
Procured my Hberty.
O Love beyond all telling,
That led Thee to embrace,
In love all love excelling,
Our lost and fallen race!
Rejoice then, ye sad-hearted.
Who sit in deepest gloom,
Who mourn o'er joys departed,
And tremble at your doom;
He who alone can cheer you
Is standing at the door;
He brings His pity near you.
And bids you weep no more.
An Advent hymn which is greatly loved by all who
appreciate the purpose and spirit of the Advent season;
we find in these stanzas prayer, praise, theology, redemp-
tion, Christian penitence. Christian joy. The heart is
laid bare, so to speak, and the Christian who with heart,
mind and voice sings this Advent hymn of prayer and
praise must certainly be ready to welcome the Saviour when
He comes. To this end our first thought in contemplating
this hymn is to see the beauty, the expressiveness and the
fitness of its thought as a hymn to begin the Advent season.
Paul Gerhardt is the author of this hymn. He ranks
with Luther as one of the most gifted and most popular
hymn writers of the Christian Church.
It will give us a higher appreciation of the hymn to
know a little of the author. He was a German poet of a
high order, one whom the German people loved and owned.
He was a native of Saxony, his student life being passed
during the time of the Thirty Years' War, at the close of
ADVENT HYMNS II
which he became a pastor. It was while pastor at St.
Nicholas' Church, Berlin, that be became known as a
writer of hymns. He was held in high honor by the people
of the city as an eloquent preacher and earnest pastor.
In spite of this fact, because of his uncompromising
stand for the Lutheran doctrine and all that it implied
in teaching and in li\ing, he was, in 1666, deposed from his
spiritual office. WTien told of it he said, "This is only a
small Beriin affliction; but I am also willing and ready to
seal vdth my blood the evangelical truth, and, like my
namesake, St. Paul, to offer my neck to the sword."
Reinstated, he again was superseded because his con-
science would not let him compromise as he was expected
to do. In the midst of these official trials he also was called
upon to suffer family affliction, losing three children and
his wife within a very short time.
He later became pastor at Liibben and archdeacon.
Under his picture in this church there was the inscription
which seemed to indicate the detraction and unkindness
which he experienced during the last seven years of his
life- The inscription, which was in Latin, was, "A divine
sifted in Satan's sieve."
WTien we know this story, and that out of these experi-
ences as the expression of his innermost soul some of his
best hymns came, we shall then love more and understand
better those hymns of his which it is our pri\dlege to have
and to sing in our English churches.
These facts give new meaning to the first, third and fifth
stanzas. They become so personal that they will be of
deeper significance to each and everyone who sings them.
It has been well said of Gerhardt that he had a firm
grasp of the objective realities of the Christian faith and
that he manifested a loyal adherence to the doctrinal stand-
12 FAVORITE HYMNS
point of the Lutheran Church. With it all he is genuinely
human and takes a fresh and wholesome view of nature and
of mankind. This emphasizes the teaching and content of
When we see the depth of soul and the fulness of mean-
ing as well as the beauty of expression in a hymn such as
this Advent hymn of Paul Gerhardt, what a rebuke it
is to those who would use silly and superficial jingles and
think they contain elements of worship. The advent of
our Saviour is worthy of the best in poetry and music that
can be found in our hymns.
A very different type of hymn, but one which is especially
appropriate for the opening of Advent and which is a
general favorite is:
On Jordan's banks the herald's cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh;
Come, then, and hearken, for he brings
Glad tidings from the King of kings.
This hymn, as we have it, was translated in 1837 by
John Chandler from the Latin of the author, Charles
Coflin. The original was written in 1736. Simple in
statement of fact, confession and faith, it is a hymn-
prayer, full of unction, which is the element which appeals
to the heart in the Advent season.
A hymn which looks for the second Advent of Christ
and well worthy of its popularity is:
Thou Judge of quick and dead,
Before whose bar severe.
With holy joy or guilty dread,
We all shall soon appear;
Our wakened souls prepare
For that tremendous day.
And fill us now with watchful care,
And stir us up to pray.
ADVENT HYMNS 13
This hymn is from the pen of Charles Wesley, the **Bard
of Methodism," who was a prolific writer of hymns, as is
seen from the fact that of seven hundred and seventy
hymns in the "Wesleyan Hymn Book" six hundred and
twenty-three are from his pen. It is very evident that
there cannot be as much variety as there is in the
Lutheran books of worship, the hymns of which are
drawn from many sources. The determining factor for
the recognition and use of a hymn is the evangelical
character and conformity to the high standard of poetic
form and perfect harmony with the principles of faith
The true joy of Advent is fittingly expressed in another
grand hymn which has come from one of the bards of
Germany, Laurentius Laurenti, who has been pronounced
^'one of the best hymn writers of the Pietistic School."
His hymns are, as a rule, founded on the gospels for the
Sundays and festivals of the Church Year. They are
simple, spiritual, full of unction and educational as well as
Dr. Schaff pronounces his Advent hymn, which is a
versified interpretation of the Parable of the Ten Virgins,
his best hymn. The English translation which we use is
from the pen of Miss Jane Borthwick. It is included in a
book which she, with the assistance of her sister, published
in 1854, the title of which is ''Hymns from the Land of
Luther." Lauren ti's hymn is found in a number of the
very best hymn books of the present day. It is evidence
of the beauty and the richness of our purely evangelical
hymns. The hymn is so beautiful that we quote it as it is
now conmionly used:
14 FAVORITE HYMNS
REJOICE, ALL YE BELLE VERS
Rejoice, all ye believers,
And let your lights appear!
The evening is advancing,
And darker night is near.
The Bridegroom is arising,
And soon He draweth nigh.
Up! pray, and watch, and wrestle-
At midnight comes the cry!
The watchers on the mountain
Proclaim the Bridgroom near;
Go meet Him as He cometh.
With heallelujahs clear.
The marriage-feast is waiting,
The gates wide open stand;
Up, up, ye heirs of glory;
The Bridegroom is at hand!
Ye saints, who here in patience
Your cross and sufferings bore,
Shall live and reign for ever.
When sorrow is no more.
Around the throne of glory
The Lamb ye shall behold.
In triumph cast before Him
Your diadems of gold!
Our Hope and Expectation,
O Jesus, now appear;
Arise, Thou Sun so longed for.
O'er this benighted sphere!
With hearts and hands uplifted.
We plead, O Lord, to see
The day of earth's redemption,
That brings us unto Thee!
OUR EARLIEST CHRISTMAS HYMNS
J^^ HE first song of the Christian era came from the
V^ lips of the Virgin Mary. The greatest honor that
j^SS8 could be bestowed upon a woman was hers, for
she is the destined mother of the Messiah. The
joy of her soul knows no bounds. Conscious of the
wonderful thing which God hath done for her, and through
her for the world, Mary breaks the stillness of the expectant
hour with the strains of the Magnificat.
Inspired, because of the wonderful thing which God
hath done unto her, this humble maiden of Israel sings the
first Christian song, in the quiet of the home of her kins-
woman, Elizabeth, in the hill country of Judea.
The circumstances under which this hymn was first
sung, its theme, its spirit and its contents give to the
Magnificat a precedence over all the other hymns of the
Mrs. Charles has well said of this hymn: "The heart
of Mary, like a sweet flower with its cup turned up to the
morning sky, in its lowliness drank in the light and dew
of heaven, and sent them back in fragrance; full of God
and therefore full of joy. Yet her hymn is no angelic song,
no thanksgiving of an unfallen spirit who looks on adoring
at the great miracle of divine love. That human tone which
gives its deepest music to the new song of heaven is not
wanting in Mary's. She can say, 'My Saviour,' that she
also may sing hereafter, 'Thou wast slain, and hast re-
deemed us by Thy blood!' The Magnificat of the blessed
l6 FAVORITE HYMNS
Virgin is but another strain in the great song of redemp-
If we compare the Magnificat with the song of Hannah,
recorded in the first chapter of I Samuel, we will note
enough similarity to warrant the view that Mary must
have been familiar with this Old Testament song to which
it bears a close resemblance.
There have been a number of attempts to put the
Magnificat into verse, but they are not popular, for the
simple reason that nothing can surpass in beauty and
stateliness the rhythmical prose of this chant as it came
from the lips of Mary and is recorded in the New Testa-
ment. We are fortunate in having this canticle occupy an
important place in our services. It should be, in view of
its origin and association as the first hymn of the Christian
Church committed to memory in our youth. The song
is so rich in thought, so beautiful in its origin and setting
that, rightly understood, its frequent use wall necessarily
deepen spiritual life and strengthen the devotion of the
My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced
in God my Saviour.
For He hath regarded: the low estate of His handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me
For He that is mighty hath done to me great things: and
holy is His name.
And His mercy is on them that fear Him: from generation
He hath showed strength with His arm: He hath scattered
the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats: and exalted
them of low degree.
OUR EARLIEST CHRISTMAS HYMNS 17
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich
He hath sent empty away.
He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His
mercy: as He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his
seed, for ever.
Times of unusual experiences in the religious life,
whether they are times of trial or of joy, have ever been
fruitful in song. So it is that at the glad time of the com-
ing of our Lord into the world song succeeds song. No
sooner do the strains of the Magnificat die away than we
hear the notes of another of our beautiful New Testament
canticles, the song ofZacharias proclaiming the advent of
John the Baptist, the forerunner of our Lord.
A priest, as he was, and inspired of the Holy Ghost
to prophecy, we have in the Benedictus, as it comes from
the lips of Zacharias, a lyric which, like Mary's song, has
passed into the permanent liturgy of the Church, and which
is expressive of the devotion of every pious heart.
Concerning this hymn, Edersheim says: ^'Strictly Hebrew
in its cast, and closely following Old Testament prophecy,
it is remarkable — and yet most natural — that this hymn
of the priest closely follows, and, if the expression be
allowable, spiritualizes a great part of the most ancient
Jewish prayer, the so-called Eighteen Benedictions; rather,
perhaps, that it transforms the expectancy of that prayer
into praise of its realization. And if we bear in mind that
a great portion of these prayers were said by the priests
before the lot was cast for incensing, or by the people in
the time of incensing, it almost seems as if during the long
period of his enforced solitude the aged priest had meditated
on, and learned to understand, what so often he had re-
How beautifully these chants link the Old and the New
1 8 FAVORITE HYMNS
Covenant in thought in the worship, even as He who was
coming was fulfilhng the Old and establishing the New
Covenant, that the two might be bound together in Him,
the Center of time as well as of salvation.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: for He hath visited and
redeemed His people;
And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us: in the house
of His servant David;
As He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets: which
have been since the world began;
That we should be saved from our enemies: and from the
hand of all that hate us;
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers: and to
remember His holy covenant;
The oath which He sware to our father Abraham: that He
would grant unto us;
That we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies:
might serve Him without fear.
In holiness and righteousness before Him : all the days of our
And thou, child, shaltbe called the prophet of the Highest : for
thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto His people: by the
remission of their sins.
Through the tender mercy of our God: whereby the Day-
spring from on high hath visited us;
To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow
of death : to guide our feet into the way of peace.
And now as the Messiah of God, Emmanuel, Christ is
born, it is the song of the angels that we hear. The day is
dawning and fittingly the angels of heaven greet the com-
ing morning of the day of redemption. ''Shepherds were
in the field keeping watch over their flocks by night. And
lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory
OUR EARLIEST CHRISTMAS HYMNS 19
of the Lord shone round about them. And suddenly
there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly
host, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.' "
What a privilege to those humble shepherds to hear the
angel band sing their ecstatic hymn on the plains of
Bethlehem, announcing the grace of heaven to our sin-
smitten earth! Well has it been called the "sweetest
melody that ever echoed from the skies."
The Gloria in Excelsis, as we now have it and use it in
our public worship, is built up as from a foundation on this
angel song, which, when first sung, had as its hearers the
adoring shepherds, who were keeping their flocks on the
plains of Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born in
the manger of the Nativity.
The anthem, which fully expressed the joy of the angels
at the Nativity, was inadequate to express the feelings of
the Church that worshiped the Crucified. For this reason
there was a gradual evolution of the Gloria in Excelsis,
which, by the end of the fifth century, had been developed
into a hymn which, wdth but slight variation, is used
alike by Greek, Roman and Protestant believers all over
the world. Its use confirms the creed in which we express
our belief in the ''Communion of Saints."
The seed of the song is the chant of the angels; the fruit
of its fuller expression, the communion of the saints who
worship the Triune God who have boldness and joy
in their approach through the Christ of Bethlehem, the
Saviour of the world. Henceforth we will sing the "angels'
anthem" with better understanding and find in it an
unusual medium of true communion with the angels and
the saints in heaven as well as the universal brotherhood of
believers on earth.
20 FAVORITE HYMNS
THE GLORIA IN EXCELSIS
Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will
toward men. We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship
Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great
glory, Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord, the Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; Lord God,
Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sin of
the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the
sin of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the
right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
For, Thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord; Thou
only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the
glory of God the Father. Amen.
Closely associated with the birth of Christ is another
most beautiful and tender hymn which comes to us out of
the word of God, namely, Simeon's pathetic song, "The
Nunc Dimittis." The circumstances of the origin of this
canticle are most touching. Simeon was a devout man.
He had waited and longed for the consolation of Israel.
While in the temple it w^as his privilege to take the young
Child in his arms. While he beheld the Christ-child,
realizing that it was the long-hoped-for consolation of
Israel, the pent-up emotions of his soul were poured forth
in the words of that song which is found in our services
and is particularly expressive of the feeling of the true
Christian after receiving the body and the blood of Christ
in the sacrament of the altar. Its origin and first use, the
singer holding the Christ-child in his arms as he sang,
should be kept in the view of the w^orshiper, who, as he
joins with others in the singing of this New Testament
canticle will have personal experience of the joy and
benediction which were the lot of Simeon, its author, who
sang his personal experience of salvation.
OUR EARLIEST CHRISTMAS HYMNS 2i
THE NUNC DIMITTIS
Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace: ac-
cording to Thy Word;
For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation: which Thou hast
prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles: and the glory of Thy people
What wonderful hymns these are which, coming from
the very scenes and times of the Nativity, have passed
down through the ages! Their beauty and their sweet-
ness have not been diminished, w^hile their use has con-
stantly been on the increase.
As at the first, giving expression to the emotions of the
human heart, the Magnificat, the Benedictus, the Nunc
Dimittis, are sung today just as they came from the lips
of the inspired singers. The song of the angels has been
caught up by the saints of the Church, and with its lofty
theme as the nucleus, there has been developed a noble
song, a song which links angels with the common brother-
hood of believers in proclaiming ''Glory to God in the
highest, on earth peace, good will toward men."
There is no doubt that these songs were sung in the
apostolic and early Christian Church. They are sung to-
day in all sections of the Church which would emphasize
the scriptural and evangelical in Christian worship. It
is an evidence of both the true apostolicity and catholicity
of Christians for them to love and to use these New Testa-
ment songs, which are so closely associated with the birth
of Jesus the Saviour.
WELL KNOWN CHRISTMAS HYMNS
OF the various elements of Christmas pleasure, none
is more pure, real or uplifting than the privilege
71^^^ of singing the old, familiar Christmas hymns
which old and young alike love and which make us, once
again, all children. There are great volumes of the hymns
of Christmas. Some of them are unworthy of their place,
but many of them are singing the old story and the true
faith into many joyful hearts as "the happy Christmas
comes once more."
This singing for Christmas is an old custom which has
heavenly example as its pattern and inspiration, for does
not Montgomery tell us in a hymn which we delight to
"Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story,
Now proclaim Messiah's birth."
It was this fact which gave Nahum Tate his inspi-
ration and moved him to write in 1703, the wonderful
story of that night on Bethlehem's plains in a hymn
which has sent thousands singing joyfully to the Man-
ger Cradle. Who is not familiar with the words which
helped to win for him from King William III the title
of poet laureate? We refer to that splendid Christmas
WELL KNOWN CHRISTMAS HYMNS 23
WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED THEIR FLOCKS BY NIGHT
While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around,
"Fear not," said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind;
"Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind."
"To you, in David's town, this day
Is born, of David's line,
A Saviour, who is Christ the Lord,
And this shall be the sign:
The heavenly babe you there shall find,
To human view displayed.
All meanly wrapt in swathing-bands.
And in a manger laid."
Thus spake the seraph, and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels, praising God, who thus
Addressed their joyful song: —
"All glory be to God on high.
And to the earth be peace:
Good-will, henceforth, from heaven to men,
Begin and never cease."
Speaking of the angels and their song makes us think
of Charles Wesley's hymn for Christmas day. He wrote
it in 1735 and re\'ised it in 1743. It has found its way into
many hymnals and has been so inseparably associated with
Mendelssohn's melody which bears his name as to make
it stand out as one of the greatest of the favorite hymns for
the Christmas time. Beautiful as are the words, we can-
not help feeling that the music of the great master, Mendels-
sohn, has done much to sing into the hearts of multitudes
24 FAVORITE HYMNS
of Christians the beautiful Christmas message of the great
Methodist hymn writer.
Wesley's hymn for Christmas day
Hark! the herald-angels sing,
"Glory to the new-born King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations, rise.
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal Nature, say,
Christ the Lord is born today!
Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb!
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see.
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as Man with men to appear,
Jesus, our Immanuel, here!
Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and Hfe to all He brings,
Risen with heahng in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.
Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
O, to all Thy self impart.
Formed in each believing heart!
WELL KNOWN CHRISTMAS HYMNS 25
Mendelssohn's ''Hymn of Trust" has helped to win a
place for another familiar Christmas hymn among the
great favorites. We refer to John Cawood's hynm —
hark! what mean those holy voices
Hark! what mean those holy voices
Sweetly sounding through the skies?
Lo! the angelic host rejoices;
Heavenly hallelujahs rise.
Listen to the wondrous story,
Which they chant in hymns of joy:
"Glory in the highest, glory!
Glory be to God most high!
"Peace on earth, good-will from heaven,
Reaching far as man is found;
Souls redeemed, and sins forgiven;
Loud our golden harps shall sound.
"Christ is born, the great Anointed;
Heaven and earth His praises sing!
O receive whom God appointed
For your Prophet, Priest, and King.
"Hasten, mortals, to adore Him;
Learn His Name, and taste His joy;
Till in Heaven ye sing before Him,
Glory be to God most high!"
Let us learn the wondrous story
Of our great Redeemer's birth;
Spread the brightness of His glory.
Till it cover all the earth.
Of the seventeen hymns written by Mr. Cawood, who
was a man of limited education, this is his best and most
widely known production.
26 FAVORITE HYMNS
Hymns like these which we have just quoted prepare
us to sing William Augustus Muhlenberg's valuable con-
tribution to our Christmas collection of hymns. It is
a hymn in which the echoing harmonies of heaven touch a
responsive chord in our very souls. We feel the power in
the words and the melody and are literally ready to shout
when called to sing —
Shout the glad tidings, exultingly sing,
Jerusalem triumphs, Messiah is King!
Muhlenberg's Christmas hymn
Sion, the marvellous story be telling,
The Son of the Highest, how lowly His birth!
The brightest archangel in glory excelling.
He stoops to redeem thee, He reigns upon earth:
Chorus. — Shout the glad tidings, exultingly sing,
Jerusalem triumphs, Messiah is King,
Messiah is King, Messiah is King.
Tell how He cometh; from nation to nation.
The heart-cheering news let the earth echo round;
How free to the faithful He offers salvation.
How His people with joy everlasting are crowned.
Mortals, your homage be gratefully bringing.
And sweet let the gladsome hosanna arise;
Ye angels, the full Alleluia be singing;
One chorus resound through the earth and the skies.
The text of this hymn has come to us unaltered from the
pen of the author, who is the grandson of the Patriarch of
the Lutheran Church in America, the Rev. Henry Melchior
Muhlenberg, D. D. He bore a Lutheran name, but
through attendance in English Sunday schools became
an Episcopalian and carried his Lutheran spirit into that
WELL KNOWN CHRISTMAS HYMNS 27
church, where he did a wonderful work in the development
of hospital and other benevolent work in New York City.
Martin Luther, who contributed much to the Reforma-
tion cause through his hymns, which are known by every
peasant in Germany, and for which in most instances he
has furnished his ow^n melody, has given us one of the very
best and most meaningful of our Christmas hymns.
Luther's Christmas hymn
Good news from heaven the angels bring,
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a Child is given,
To crown us with the joy of heaven.
This is the Christ, our God and Lord,
Who in all need shall aid afford;
He will Himself our Saviour be,
From all our sins to set us free.
To us that blessedness He brings,
Which from the Father's bounty springs:
That in the heavenly realm we may
With Him enjoy eternal day.
All hail! Thou noble Guest, this morn.
Whose Love did not the sinner scorn:
In my distress Thou comest to me;
What thanks shall I return to Thee?
Were earth a thousand times as fair.
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee. ' '.
28 FAVORITE HYMNS
Praise God upon His heavenly throne,
Who gave to us His only Son:
For this His hosts, on joyful wing,
A blest New Year of mercy sing.
The original of this carol, we are told, Luther wrote for
his little son Hans when he was only five years old. It is
still sung at daybreak on Christmas morning by singers
standing in the dome of the "Kreuz Kirche" in Dresden.
Luther wrote it in 1535. The translation which is in most
common use is by Miss Winkworth. The music bears the
date of 1539 and has come down to us with the words as
one of the glad notes of the Christmas time.
Luther has given us another Christmas hymn — at least
it is commonly attributed to him — the ''Cradle Hymn,"
which is a marvellously sweet lullaby. This hymn is very
short; but it is very dear to the little ones, who without
exception soon learn to sing and to love it.
A CHRISTMAS LULLABY
Away in a manger, no crib for His bed.
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay —
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes.
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes;
I love Thee, Lord Jesus. Look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.
The above is distinctly a "cradle hymn." It is so simple,
so evangelical and so beautiful that even if the critics
cannot agree as to its authorship, we certainly are unan-
imous as to its use.
The eminent Episcopalian, Phillips Brooks, has made a
WELL KNOWN CHRISTMAS HYMNS 29
valuable addition to our collection of Christmas hymns in
O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy darkness shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God our Kling,
And peace to men on earth.
How silently, how silently.
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in.
O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels,
The great glad tidings tell :
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel!
The hymn was written in 1868. It is both a tribute and
30 FAVORITE HYMNS
a prayer. Its poetical merit and devotional character
make it worthy of the high favor in which it stands.
Another American clergyman has furnished us with a
classic Christmas hymn. We refer to the hymn by the Rev.
Edwin Hamilton Searles, which, in spite of the fact that its
author was a Unitarian clergyman, yet is a hymn in which
there is a very joyful note for the child of faith. Written
in i860, Mr. Searle's words stir the imagination and bring
to the ear and eye of the singer most wonderful scenes and
harmonies of heaven.
A unitarian's CHRISTMAS HYMN
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, good-will to men
From heaven's all-gracious King";
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
O ye, beneath life's crushing load.
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow!
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road.
And hear the angels sing.
WELL KNOWN CHRIST^L\S HYMNS 31
For lol the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the time foretold.
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing. Amen.
Add to the above his earlier Christmas hymn, written in
"Calm on the Hstening ear of night,"
and we have two hymns which give to Mr. Searles a high
and deserved place among the great American hymn
writers. In speaking of "It came upon the midnight
clear," Dr. Duffield says: "It is absolutely wedded to its
appropriate tune." WTiat a mistake so many make when
they give new" and unfamiliar times for old standard hymns !
On the other hand, there are times when old standard tunes
are \'iolently torn from their proper words and con-
nected with mere doggerel. To do either is to hinder wor-
ship and is like defaming a sacred shrine.
The Christmas hymns are almost without number, and
our readers may add indefinitely. We must, however, tell
the story of one other hymn of which many have precious
memories of singing it in a darkened church or home
while watching the lighting of the Christmas tree, which
found its present beautiful place and use during the
time of the great Protestant Reformation. The hymn,
which was written by Joseph Mohr in 181 8, is the well
32 FAVORITE HYMNS
Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and child!
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
II : Sleep in heavenly peace:||
Silent night! Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from Heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
II : Christ, the Saviour, is born! : ||
Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy Face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
II : Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth. : ||
The story of the origin of this hymn is beautiful. It
was a clear, starry Christmas Eve. Everything was
joyful and festive save in the home of Joseph Mohr,
where there was great sorrow, for on that day the wife and
mother had gone to celebrate Christmas in heaven. All
was sadness. Mr. Mohr sat with bowed head. Going to
a window he looked out upon the snow-clad nature, while
in an adjoining room he could see his little motherless
children quietly sleeping. A sigh came to his lips as he
thought of the Christmas without the mother. Just then
he heard merry voices singing the very songs he and his
wife and the children were wont to sing. The thought
rushed in upon him that she was singing them and blending
her voice with the angels. Musing thus, he was impressed
with the quiet beauty of the night. He turned quickly,
sat down and in a few moments penned his now famous
WELL KNOWN CHRISTMAS HYMNS 33
"Stille Nacht." As soon as it was written he handed it
to his organist who was keeping vigil with him, a Mr.
Gruber, and with a choking voice said, "Go, friend, make
music to this and bring it to me." He went into the church
and sat at the organ. In the morning he called together
his choir and rehearsed the melody, which floated out from
the church choir loft on that Christmas day for the first
Made in the night, it seemed to the congregation, as it
should seem to us, as if the angels themselves had infused
their own spirit into writer, composer and singers. This
beautiful song is simg wherever Christmas is kept in the
good old way. It is seldom that it does not bring to the
hearts of those who listen a measure of the same feeling
which Gruber's choir awoke in the good people of old
Salzburg that Christmas morning so long ago.
HYMNS FOR THE NEW YEAR
EW YEAR'S DAY is the "Octave of Christmas."
It is the day of the circumcision and the naming
of the child Jesus. In the Christian year this
fact dominates the day. Hence it is that Keble
emphasizes this thought in his hymn, in which the cir-
cumcision of Christ is the figure under which the course of
human Ufe is pictured.
In thinking of the name of Jesus one of the first hymns
which comes to mind is that of John Newton, of which the
two opening lines are:
"How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer's ear."
This tribute to the name of Jesus will be given added
significance in our use of it when we know that the author
in his early life was very wild, and cursed and blasphemed
in the most shocking manner. He followed the sea and
literally swore like a sailor, was captured by slave dealers,
became a slave dealer himself, and, after a narrow escape
from shipwreck, came to his senses, confessed his sins, and,
when thirty-nine years of age, was ordained a clergyman of
the Church of England. Knowing these facts, we will
value the tribute to the name of Jesus, probably para-
phrased from an old Latin hymn of St. Bernard, but made
to express the inner conviction of a truly converted sailor.
Bishop How has paid high tribute to the name of Jesus
in one of the several hymns which he has contributed to
HYMNS FOR THE NEW YEAR 35
the common hymnology of the Evangelical Church.
This hymn, which was written in 1854, has as its opening
Jesus! Name of wondrous love!
Name all other names above!
Name at which must every knee
Bow in deep humility.
A hymn which has not yet found its way into the church
hymnals, but which is loved by nearly all young people, and
by some older ones too, comes from the pen of an American
poet, the late George W. Bethune. It is a tribute to the
name and work of Jesus, which, with its appropriate
melody "Barnby," is most pleasing in thought as wtII as
in its rhythm and music. The hymn is written in four-line
stanzas with a chorus, the first verse and chorus being:
There is no name so sweet on earth
No name so dear in heaven,
As that before His wondrous birth
To Christ the Saviour given.
We love to sing around our King,
And hail Him blessed Jesus!
For there's no word ear ever heard
So dear, so sweet as Jesus!
Turning to the day as marking the opening of the year,
a most appropriate religious sentiment is found in that
hymn from the pen of Isaac Watts, which is a versification
of the ninetieth psalm. The sentiment is divine, the
versification so well done that the hymn must live and grow
in favor as Christians add experience and years to their
36 FAVORITE HYMNS
watt's ninetieth psalm
Our God, our Help in ages past,
Our Hope for years to come;
Our Shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal Home.
Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
SuflScient is Thine arm alone.
And our defence is sure.
Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame.
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.
Thy word commands our flesh to dust:
''Return, ye sons of men";
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream.
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.
Like flowery fields the nations stand.
Pleased with the morning Hght :
The flowers beneath the mower's hand
Lie withering ere 'tis night.
Our God, our Help in ages past,
Our Hope for years to come.
Be Thou our Guard while troubles last,
And our eternal Home.
The Rev. Philip Doddridge, D.D., a clergyman of the
Church of England, has furnished two hymns which are in
H\'MNS FOR THE NEW YEAR 37
favor and especially appropriate at the opening of the
New Year. The one hymn is distincti^'ely a hymn for
the new year. It is expressive of gratitude for past guid-
ance, for divine blessing and protection, and a prayer for
God's mercy and help as well as an expression of implicit
trust. As a New Year sentiment we quote it in full:
DR. Doddridge's new year hymn
"Great God! we sing that mighty Hand,
By which supported still we stand:
The opening year Thy mercy shows;
Let mercy crown it, till it close.
"By day, by night, at home, abroad,
Still we are guarded by our God,
By His incessant bounty fed,
By His unerring counsel led.
"With grateful hearts the past we own;
The future, all to us unknown,
We to Thy guardian care commit.
And, peaceful, leave before Thy feet.
"In scenes exalted or depressed.
Be Thou our joy, and Thou our rest;
Thy goodness all our hopes shall raise.
Adored through all our changing days.
"When death shall interrupt our songs.
And seal in silence mortal tongues,
Our Helper, God, in whom we trust.
In better worlds our souls shall boast."
Another hymn, also by Dr. Doddridge, appropriate to
the season, which is \irtually a prayer to God to guide
and protect and continue to bless with the bounties of His
hand, is a hymn of pro\ddence appropriate at any season.
38 FAVORITE HYMNS
It is a hymn which is especially cheering and faith-inspiring
when in trial or trouble of any kind. Our appreciation of
it will be increased by knowing that it was a favorite hymn
of Livingstone, the explorer. He declares that it often
cheered him in his African wanderings. It was sung at his
funeral as his body was being laid to rest in the famous
Westminster Abbey. The hymn is popular because it
most beautifully and forcefully speaks the religious expe-
rience of a rugged race.
A PRAYER TO THE GOD OF JACOB
"O God of Jacob, by whose hand
Thy people still are fed;
Who, through this weary pilgrimage,
Hast all our fathers led!
"To Thee our humble vows we raise,
To Thee address our prayer;
And in Thy kind and faithful breast
Deposit all our care.
"Through each perplexing path of life
Our wandering footsteps guide;
Give us by day our daily bread.
And raiment fit provide.
"O spread Thy covering wings around,
Till all our wanderings cease;
And at our Father's loved abode
Our souls arrive in peace.
"To Thee, as to our covenant God,
We'll our whole selves resign;
And thankful own, that all we are.
And all we have, is Thine."
Frances Ridley Havergal has given us a most ap-
H\^MNS FOR THE NEW YEAR 39
propriate prayer for the opening year. Written in 1874,
it is becoming well known and is already in extensive use.
Miss Havergal's ^v^itings were published under the title,
"Poetical Works of Miss Havergal," in two volumes in
1884. They have found place among meritorious poetry.
MISS havxrcal's new year prayer
''Another year is dawning,
Dear Master, let it be,
In working or in waiting.
Another year with Thee.
"Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness
In the shining of Thy face.
"Another year of progress,
Another year of praise.
Another year of pro\ing
Thy presence all the days.
"Another year of ser\'ice.
Or witness for Thy love;
Another year of training
For hoHer works above.
"Another year is dawning,
Dear Master, let it be.
On earth or else in heaven.
Another year for Thee!"
The brevity of life and the approach of the Christian
toward heaven are proper themes for the new year. A
standard hymn expressive of this thought is from the
pen of the author of "Hymns of Faith and Hope," which
have demonstrated their title to many a godly saint on
40 FAVORITE HYMNS
this earth. We refer to that hymn written by Dr. Horatius
Bonar in 1842, or forty years before his death, the title of
A FEW MORE YEARS SHALL ROLL
"A few more years shall roll,
A few more seasons come,
And we shall be with those that rest,
Asleep within the tomb:
Then, O my Lord, prepare
My soul for that great day;
O wash me in Thy precious Blood,
And take my sins away!
"A few more storms shall beat
On this wild, rocky shore,
And we shall be where tempests cease,
And surges swell no more.
A few more struggles here,
A few more partings o'er,
A few more toils, a few more tears,
And we shall weep no more.
"'Tis but a httle while
And He shall come again.
Who died that we might live, who lives
That we with Him may reign:
Then, O my Lord, prepare
My soul for that glad day;
O wash me in Thy precious Blood,
And take my sins away!"
Out of three thousand lines of a satire written by Bernard,
a monk of Cluny, in the twelfth century, Dr. John Mason
Neale has drawn three hymns which he has translated and
which have become very popular. It is significant of the
difference between the centuries that the twelfth century
satirist is overwhelmed by the awe of heaven and the horror
HYMNS FOR THE NEW YEAR 41
of hell, while the nineteenth century singer has so adapted
his verses as to make them sing exultantly of heaven alone.
It is the evangelical minister as contrasted with the
austere monk. Of these hymns we note that which is
appropriate as a new year selection, of which the first
verse is :
''Brief life is here our portion:
Brief sorrow, short-lived care;
The Life that knows no ending,
The tearless Life, is there.
Short toil, eternal rest,
For mortals and for sinners
A mansion with the blest!"
It is left to a woman to give us the hymn which we
mention as especially expressive of the thought of the
Christian on New Year's Day. Phoebe Gary has expressed
the hfe, the faith, and the hope of the true Christian most
beautifully in her hymn, which has found its way into
many books and into multitudes of human hearts. She,
with her sister, has contributed largely to America's ad-
dition to sacred lyrics. A critic has pointed to the
one by Phoebe, to which we have just referred, as
especially beautiful, and which we quote under "H^ums
of the Christian Life," namely, her hymn of which
the first verse is:
"One sweetly solemn thought
Comes to me o'er and o'er —
I am nearer home today
Than I have ever been before."
John Newton, whose hymn on the name of Jesus
introduced the churchly side of the day, has given us
42 FAVORITE HYMNS
also a representative New Year hymn which is partic-
ularly solemn and fitting when used on the last evening
of the year or on New Year's Eve. This hymn, when
sung to that most appropriate tune given to it in Sam-
uel Webbe's "Benevento," is most wonderfully impress-
ive. We refer to the hymn of which the first stanza is:
''While with ceaseless course the sun
Hasted through the former year,
Many souls their race have run,
Never more to meet us here;
Fixed in an eternal state,
They have done with all below,
We a little longer wait,
But how little, none can know."
In striking contrast with this is Charles Wesley's
hymn, which has been styled a voice at the next year's
threshold, and which inspires the singer to anticipate
Hfe and plan for the future. We quote the first stanza:
"Come, let us anew our journey pursue,
Roll round with the year
And never stand still till the Master appear.
His adorable will let us gladly fulfil
And our talents improve
By the patience of hope and the labor of love.'*
0Pn*HANY, one of the oldest of the Christian fes-
tivals, is the generally accepted festival today for
^^ commemorating the manifesting of Christ to the
three Wise Men of the East. As these Wise Men
were Gentiles and heathen, the festival and the season
have more and more come to be recognized among us as
the time when Christian people lay to heart the extending
of the knowledge of the newborn Saviour to the heathen
The festival of the Epiphany itself always falls on Janu-
ary 6th, which is the twelfth day after Christmas. It origin-
ally was the festival of the Nativity, and was looked upon
as the feast of the manifestation of Christ to man, which
took place at His baptism and not at His birth, the nativity
originally being observed only as an introduction to His
When we know these facts we will readily understand
the beautiful blending of the Christmas and the missionary
idea in some of the most appropriate hymns of the Epiph-
A hymn which very naturally comes to mind when we
think of this festival is the product of the pen of a layman,
William Chatterton Dix, a man trained for mercantile
life and who held a position in a marine insurance office at
the time when he wrote several hymns which rank high
among modern examples of hymnody. He wrote his
Epiphany hymn in i860. We quote three stanzas, the
remaining being a prayer for guidance and light from Christ
44 FAVORITE HYMNS
A layman's epiphany hymn
As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright;
So, most gracious God, may we
Evermore be led by Thee.
As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly manger-bed,
There to bend the knee before
Him w^hom heaven and earth adore;
So may we, with wiUing feet,
Ever seek Thy mercy-seat.
As they offered gifts most rare
At that manger rude and bare;
So may we, with holy joy.
Pure and free from sin's alloy.
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King.
The beauty of the Church Year is that it provides for
the presentation of every phase of the life and the teachings
of Christ. Bishop Wordsw^orth, w^ho, like Luther, looked
upon hymns as a valuable means of stamping permanently
upon the memory the great doctrines of the Christian
Church, has beautifully demonstrated the truth of these
facts in a book of hymns called "The Holy Year." An ex-
cellent illustration of the fitness and the instructive
character of such hymns is his hymn in which he recapitu-
lates the themes of the Epiphany season and shows how
these are preparatory to that future great and glorious
Epiphany of Christ when He shall be manifested to all as
the Judge of the world. A careful reading of the verses of
this hymn will illustrate the educational value of it.
EPIPHANY HYMNS 45
BISHOP Wordsworth's epiphany hymn
Songs of thankfulness and praise,
Jesus, Lord, to Thee we raise,
Manifested by the star
To the sages from afar;
Branch of Royal David's stem,
In Thy birth at Bethlehem;
Anthems be to Thee addrest,
God in man made manifest.
Manifest at Jordan's stream.
Prophet, Priest and King supreme;
And at Cana, wedding-guest,
In Thy Godhead manifest;
Manifest in power divine,
Changing water into wine;
Anthems be to Thee addrest,
God in man made manifest.
Manifest in making whole
Palsied limbs and fainting soul;
Manifest in valiant fight.
Queuing all the devil's might;
Manifest in gracious will.
Ever bringing good from ill ;
Anthems be to Thee addrest,
God in man made manifest.
Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord,
Present in Thy holy word;
May we imitate Thee now.
And be pure, as pure art Thou;
That we like to Thee may be.
At Thy great Epiphany;
And may praise Thee, ever blest,
God in man made manifest.
Bishop Heber in 181 1 wrote a hymn v/hich, although
criticised as to its words as well as its melody, has attained
46 FAVORITE HYMNS
great favor among many Christian people. We refer to
that hymn which is full of imagery and expressive of
liveliest devotion, namely;
"Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us Thine aid;
Star of the east, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid."
A fine illustration of the combination of the Epiphany
fact with the principle of personal consecration is seen in
that Epiphany hymn from the German, which was written
by Johann Franck in A. D. 1669. The hymn is based on
the account of the presentation in the temple, as recorded
in the second chapter of St. Luke. Critics have pronounced
this "the finest hymn on the subject of the Epiphany."
JOHANN FRANCK's EPIPHANY HYMN
Light of the Gentile nations,
Thy people's joy and love!
Drawn by Thy Spirit hither,
We gladly come to prove
Thy presence in Thy temple,
And wait with earnest mind,
As Simeon once had waited
His Saviour God to find.
Yes, Lord, Thy servants meet Thee,
Even now, in every place
Where Thy true word hath promised
That they should see thy face.
Thou yet wilt gently grant us.
Who gather round Thee here,
In faith's strong arms to bear Thee,
As once that aged seer,
EPIPHANY HYMNS 47
Be Thou our Joy, our Brightness,
That shines 'mid pain and loss,
Our Sun in times of terror,
The glory round our cross;
A glow in sinking spirits,
A sunbeam in distress,
Physician, Friend in sickness,
In death our happiness.
Let us, O Lord, be faithful
With Simeon to the end.
That so his dying song may
From all our hearts ascend:
"O Lord, let now Thy servant
Depart in peace for aye.
Since I have seen my Saviour,
Have here beheld His day."
My Saviour, I behold Thee
Now with the eye of faith,
No foe of Thee can rob me,
Though bitter words he saith.
Within Thy heart abiding.
As Thou dost dwell in me,
No pain, no death hath terrors
To part my soul from Thee!
It is interesting to note, since we have read this hymn
and observed its devotional spirit and beauty of thought,
that its author, like the writer of "As with gladness men of
old," was a layman. Johann Franck was a lawyer at
Guben, Brandenburg, Germany. He was a student at the
University of Koenigsburg during the time of the Thirty
Years' War. His religious spirit and his devotion to his
mother prevented him from sharing in the excesses of his
fellow-students, and were responsible for his return to his
home, where he held places of trust and usefulness among
48 FAVORITE HYMNS
his fellow-citizens. He was a man of unfeigned and firm
faith and personal piety, characteristics which are re-
flected in his hymns. He held such high place among his
fellow-to\ATismen that on the occasion of the bicentennial
of his death, June i8, 1877, the people of Guben thought
him worthy of a memorial tablet, which was given a place
of honor on the outer wall of the Stadtkirche of Guben.
He is an illustration to our boys that to refrain from indulg-
ing in college excesses is not a hindrance to future dis-
tinguished usefulness. He is also, as a pious and success-
ful lawyer who has contributed materially to the permanent
hymnology of the Church, a man worthy to be kept in the
minds of all Christian laymen. We do well to think of
the man whose words we sing when we sing, "Herr Jesu,
Licht der Heiden."
OINE of our best missionaty hymns was written over
I night. It came as an inspiration from a soul afire
^ with the missionary spirit. The story of its
origin is most interesting, and illustrates well
how a true hymn breathes the soul of the singer. The
hymn to which we refer is so universally popular that
a missionary service toda}^ if it is not sung, seems incom-
plete. The hymn, which was wTitten by Bishop Heber,
in 1 819, is such a general favorite that few active Christians
do not have its lines committed to memor>^ Yet we quote
it in its fulness for the missionary message which it carries
BISHOP HEBER's great MISSIONARY HYMN
From Greenland's icy mountains.
From India's coral strand;
Where Afric's sunny fountains
Roll down their golden sand;
From many an ancient river,
From many a palmy plain.
They call us to deliver
Their land from error's chain.
What though the spicy breezes
Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle;
Though every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile;
In vain with lavish kindness
The gifts of God are strewn;
The heathen, in his blindness,
Bows down to wood and stone.
50 FAVORITE HYMNS
Shall we whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high,
Shall we to men benighted
The lamp of life deny?
Salvation, O salvation!
The joyful sound proclaim,
Till each remotest nation
Has learned Messiah's name.
Waft, waft, ye winds, His story,
And you, ye waters, roll.
Till, like a sea of glory,
It spreads from pole to pole;
Till o'er our ransomed nature
The Lamb for sinners slain,
Redeemer, King, Creator,
In bliss returns to reign.
The hymn grew out of a great missionary occasion.
A royal letter had been written authorizing missionary
services and collections in every church and chapel in
England for furthering the missionary work of the Society
for Propagating the Gospel. Reginald Heber, who was
born April 21, 1783, was a young clergyman of the Church
of England at the time. While a student he had shown
poetic talent sufficient to gain special recognition from Sir
Young Heber was the son-in-law of Dr. Shipley, dean of
St. Asaph and vicar of Wrexham. He had gone to Wrex-
ham to participate in the Whitsunday missionary service.
It was the evening preceding, and in the course of the
preparations for the morning service the vicar of the church
in Wrexham asked his son-in-law, then rector of the church
at Hodnet, if he could not prepare something to be sung at
the morning service.
Heber retired to a quiet corner of the house. Shortly,
MISSIONARY HYMNS SI
in response to the inquiry, "What have you written?"
he read the first three verses of the hymn, substantially
as we have them today.
The dean appreciatively said, "There, there, that will
do very well." ''No, no, the sense is not complete," was
Heber's reply. He accordingly added the fourth stanza,
and the hymn was ready for use. It was sung the fol-
lowing morning in the Wrexham church in the first of
the thousands of missionary serAdces in which it has
helped to inspire missionary interest and kindle mission-
It was not, however, sung to the tune to which it is now
always sung, and which tune has become a part of the
hymn itself. The story of the origin of this tune is like-
wise of special interest. A woman who was very much
interested in missions and living in Savannah, Ga., ac-
cording to the story, secured a copy of Heber's hymn, but
was not pleased with the music to which the words were
set. She felt the missionary power and beauty of the
words and a burning desire to have a more fitting tune to
which to sing it came over her. She knew of a young
bank clerk, who lived but a few doors from her home, who
was counted a genius in music. She hastened to him and in
half an hour Lowell Mason returned the words to her set
to the music according to which everyone now sings this
"master missionary hymn of the Church." Of this tune
it has been said, "Like the words it voices, it was done at
a stroke, but it will last through the ages."
The language, as well as the sentiment of the hymn,
is beautiful. It has been said of it that "Every line,
indeed, is as polished and refined as it can be. It is the
art of the jeweler in the precious gems of language."
To know the main facts of the life story of the writer
52 FAVORITE HYMNS
will increase our appreciation of the hymn itself. Pre-
cocious as a boy, he was distinguished as a student. He
early manifested interest in missions, an e\'idence of which
was the great hymn which he wrote about two years after
His soul glowed with missionary fire. Hence he wel-
comed a call to be Bishop of Calcutta, for it realized a
purpose which had been for some time stirring in his heart,
namxcly, to be a missionary. Thus it became his privilege
to breathe ''the spicy breezes" that "blow soft o'er Cey-
lon's isle," and that actually carry the fragrance of the
aromatic forests far out to sea.
He occupied his position as Bishop of India for only
three years, when he fell as a martyr to the missionary
cause. A tablet in a church in Ceylon describes his faith-
ful work in India. His hymn is instilling the missionary
spirit into multitudes of missionary assemblies and in-
scribing his memory indelibly upon the hearts of all true
Christians who have a genuine love for missions.
Another hymn by Bishop Heber, written in 1827,
deserves mention. We refer to that hymn which is such
a strong call to Christian service. Under the imagery of
war, to gain a kingly crown, the Son of God is the leader
of the missionary train. The first line of this hymn is:
"The Son of God goes forth to war.'*
A very popular missionary hymn, which probably stands
second only to Bishop Heber's hymn, is the one based on
the Seventy-second Psalm, which was paraphrased into a
hymn originally of eight stanzas by Isaac Watts. One of
the most popular of his hymns, it was published in the
Psalms of David in 1819:
MISSIONARY HYMNS 53
watts' missionary hymn
Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kindgom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
For Him shall endless prayer be made,
And endless praises crown His head;
His name, like sweet perfume, shall rise
With every morning sacrifice.
People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His name.
Blessings abound wher'er He reigns;
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
The weary find eternal rest.
And all the sons of want are blest.
Where He displays His healing povrer
Death and the curse are known no more;
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.
Let every creature rise and bring
Peculiar honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud Amen.
It will add to our appreciation of the missionary char-
acter of this hymn to know that on a certain missionary
occasion it was used most impressively in the South Sea
Isles. King George, the ruler of the islands, gave his people
a new constitution and exchanged the heathen for a Chris-
tian form of government. Under great spreading banyan
trees the natives from Tongo, Fiji and Samoa gathered.
It was Whitsunday, 1862. The people had assembled for
54 FAVORITE HYMNS
worship. With them sat King George. Around the king
were his old chiefs and warriors w^ho had shared with him
the rigors and dangers of many a battle. All were rejoicing
in the new Christian spirit, and were radiant with Christian
love, peace and hope.
The service began that Pentecostal morning with Watts'
"Jesus shall reign where'er the sun."
As they sang they felt the power of the word of God
as paraphrased into song, Jesus' reign was transforming
them. How completely His sway is felt when men come
from the worship of idols to the service of the living God!
That is the thought which is uppermost in this hymn,
which, by reason of that fact, is a truly great missionary
A true missionary hymn which, when sung to its proper
tune will stir an audience, and is peculiarly adapted for
use at the opening of a missionary meeting or service, was
written and pubUshed anonymously. We refer to the
hymn written about 1 813, by John Marriott, the son of a
rector of the Church of England. An analysis of this
hymn will show its emphasis of the Holy Trinity and stress
the invocation of the help and blessing of the Triune God
on all missionary endeavor.
A MISSIONARY HYMN OF INVOCATION
Thou, whose almighty word
Chaos and darkness heard.
And took their flight;
Hear us, we humbly pray;
And where the gospel day
Sheds not its glorious ray.
Let there be light!
MISSIONARY HY:MXS 55
Thou, who didst come to bring,
On Thy redeeming wing,
HeaUng and sight.
Health to the sick in mind,
Sight to the inly bhnd,
O, now to all mankind,
Let there be light!
Spirit of truth and love,
Life-giving, holy Dove,
Speed forth Thy flight;
Move on the water's face.
Bearing the lamp of 'grace,
And in earth's darkest place
Let there be Hghtl
Holy and blessed Three,
Wisdom, Love, Might!
Boundless as ocean's tide,
RolKng in fullest pride.
Through the earth, far and wide,
Let there be light!
The author was a very brilliant but a very modest man.
This fact accounts for the first publishing of the hymn
without any indication of the authorship. Mr. Marriott
was the second of two who took honors at Oxford in 1802,
the first year that examinations for honors were given at
that insitution. He wrote a number of hymns, but, on
account of his modesty, he never published them in book
form, and no one else has attempted to gather them into a
volume. This hymn alone will permanently preserv^e his
name in the list of those who through their hymns have
rendered eminent service to the Church of God among men.
Bishop Arthur Cleveland Coxe is the author of what we
might call a missionary prayer. We quote his hymn, which
has come into extensive use and is a general favorite.
56 ■ FAVORITE HYMNS
A MISSIONARY PRAYER
Saviour, sprinkle many nations,
Fruitful let Thy sorrows be!
By Thy pains and consolations
Dra-w the Gentiles unto Thee!
Of Thy cross the wondrous story
Be it to the nations told;
Let them see Thee in Thy glory,
And Thy mercy manifold!
Far and wide, though all unknowing,
Pants for Thee each mortal breast:
Human tears for Thee are flowing.
Human hearts in Thee would rest.
Thirsting as for dews of even,
As the new-mown grass for rain,
Thee they seek, as God of heaven,
Thee as Man, for sinners slain.
Saviour! lo, the isles are waiting.
Stretched the hand and strained the sight,
For Thy Spirit new-creating,
Love's pure flame, and wisdom's light.
Give the word, and of the preacher
Speed the foot, and touch the tongue,
Till on earth, by every creature,
Glory to the Lamb be sung.
We are told that Bishop Coxe began this hymn on Good
Friday, 1850, but that he did not complete it until 1851.
It was first published in connection with the third jubilee
of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. It is
based on Isaiah 52 : 15. Modestly Bishop Coxe kept his
hymns out of the hymnals of his own Church, but their
merit has placed some of them, especially this truly mis-
sionary hymn, in nearly every other Christian hymnal in
HYMNS OF PENITENCE
[E of the most beautiful and devotional of all the
psalms is the one hundred and thirtieth. It is
so expressive of the mind of the penitent sinner
that it rightly finds place in our services of confes-
sion or of humiliation. With the words of this psalm as
the Bibical background Luther has given to us one of his
best hymns, and one which is especially beautiful as an
expression of the mind and heart of the penitent sinner.
It has been well said of Luther that he is the "Ambrose
of German hymnody." This is high but deserved praise.
His hymns are characterized by simplicity and strength
and have a popular churchly tone in the true sense of that
word churchly. Julian says: "They breathe the bold,
confident, joyful spirit of justifying faith, which was the
beating heart of his theology and piety." A striking illustra-
tion of this is found in his hymn of penitence, which is a
versification of the thought of the psalmist, namely,
"Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu Dir^
Luther began the writing of hymns in 1523, and as this
hymn bears the date of 1524 it is therefore among the earlier
of his contributions to the rich storehouse of Evangelical
hymnody. His hymns were the product of his environ-
ment and the expression of his strong faith in the presence
of trial. A careful reading of the text of this hymn, while
it is strictly penitential, shows lines strikingly expressive
of faith and trust. There are several translations of the
vigorous German of this hymn into very excellent English.
58 FAVORITE HYMNS
The translation which is probably most familiar and which
is most widely used is that of Miss Winkworth, which we
here give. It will prove excellent devotional reading.
Luther's 130TH psalm
Out of the depths I cry to Thee,
Lord, hear me, I implore Thee!
Bend down Thy gracious ear to me,
Let my prayer come before Thee!
If Thou remember each misdeed.
If each should have its rightful meed,
Who may abide Thy presence?
Our pardon is Thy gift ; Thy Love
And grace alone avail us.
Our works could ne'er our guilt remove,
The strictest life must fail us.
That none may boast himself of aught.
But own in fear Thy grace hath wrought
What in him seemeth righteous.
And thus my hope is in the Lord,
And not in mine own merit:
I rest upon His faithful word
To them of contrite spirit.
That He is merciful and just —
Here is my comfort and my trust.
His help I wait with patience.
And though it tarry till the night.
And round till morning waken,
My heart shall ne'er mistrust Thy might.
Nor count itself forsaken.
Do thus, O ye of Israel's seed.
Ye of the Spirit born indeed,
Wait for your God's appearing.
HYMNS OF PENITENCE 59
Though great our sins and sore our woes,
His grace much more aboundeth;
His helping love no limit knows,
Our utmost need it soundeth.
Our kind and faithful Shepherd, He,
Who shall at last set Israel free
From all their sin and sorrow.
A hymn of penitence, which is in its every line a con-
fession and w^hich is one of several which have found favor
with the editors of hymn books, is the hymn which was
written by John Taylor in 1795. The author was a
Unitarian, who for some years was a banker, after which
be became a manufacturer.
unitarian's hymn of penitence and confession
God of mercy! God of grace!
Hear our sad repentant songs.
O restore Thy suppliant race,
Thou to Whom our praise belongs!
Deep regret for follies past,
Talents wasted, time misspent;
Hearts debased by worldly cares,
Thankless for the blessings lent:
Foolish fears and fond desires,
Vain regrets for things as vain:
Lips too seldom taught to praise,
Oft to murmur and complain;
These, and every secret fault,
Filled with grief and shame, we own.
Humbled at Thy feet we lie,
Seeking pardon from Thy throne.
Isaac Watts, that prolific writer of English hymns, has
contributed a most helpful penitential hynrn, which bears
6o FAVORITE HYMNS
the date of 17 19. The sentiment of this hymn is rather an
assumption of sin and a realization of God's knowledge of
it, and therefore a penitential petition for forgiveness.
watts' prayer for forgiveness
Show pity, Lord; O Lord! forgive;
Let a repenting rebel live.
Are not Thy mercies large and free?
May not a sinner trust in Thee?
Great God, Thy Nature hath no bound,
So let Thy pardoning Love be found.
wash my soul from every sin,
And make my guilty conscience clean!
My lips with shame my sins confess
Against Thy law, against Thy grace:
Lord, should Thy judgment grow severe,
1 am condemned, but Thou art clear.
Yet save a trembling sinner. Lord,
Whose hope, still hovering round Thy word,
Would light on some sweet promise there,
Some sure support against despair.
This hymn is a versification of the fifty-first psalm.
In this psalm David prays for the remission of sins,
making deep confession. It was after he had been guilty
of specially heinous sin. It is, therefore, a psalm which is
always appropriate in times of humiliation or at services
of confession. The psalms, as we know, were the first
hymn book. They still, in their scriptural form, are
chanted in the churches. In their proper rendering we have
the privilege of most beautiful and expressive worship.
Some of the best of our hymns are versifications of these
old biblical chants of the sanctuary. Of these, Luther and
HYMNS OF PENITENCE 6 1
Watts have given us two of the best in their respective
renditions of the 130th and 51st psalms.
True penitence leads to boldness of faith in approaching
the throne of grace. We close our present study, therefore,
with the touching story of the origin of a hymn which we all
love to sing.
Miss Charlotte Elliott, when a young woman, was a
lover of dancing. She was preparing to attend an annual
ball and was on her way to the dressmaker to have her
dress made for the occasion when she met her pastor. He
was a very earnest and conscientious man and spoke
earnestly with her concerning the ball. She became greatly
vexed and told her pastor, "I wish you would mind your
She attended the dance and was very popular. The
dance lasted until almost daylight. In spite of the flatter-
ing words that she heard and the attention she received
all through the night of gayety, her conscience troubled
her because of her conversation with her pastor. When
she reached home her conscience had made her feel
wretched. She could not sleep. She had always admired
and loved her pastor as a cherished friend, and her rudeness
in saying what she did worried her.
After some days she went to see him, confessed her feel-
ings, and said, 'Tor these days I have been the most
wretched girl in the world, and now, oh, that I were a
Christian! I want to be a Christian! What must I do?"
Her old pastor talked earnestly to her and said to her,
"Just give yourself, my child, to the Lamb of God, just as
That expression in the counsel of her pastor caught hold
of her mind and heart. Her story of her experience is that
as she prayed for courage to give herself to Jesus just as she
62 FAVORITE HYMNS
was, the thought came like an inspiration, and she wrote
the hymn which has brought confidence and cheer to many
a penitent but believing heart.
Miss Elliott had no thought of fame when she wrote.
She did not even think of whether any other person might
care to make use of her words. She merely put her own
heart on paper. The hymn was born of a personal expe-
rience. Because of this fact it appeals to other hearts,
which, like Miss Elliott's, need the cleansing power of the
blood of the Lamb.
MISS Elliott's "just as i am"
Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy Blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose Blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt.
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind.
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am; Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve,
Because Thy promise I believe;
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
HYMNS OF PENITENCE 63
Just as I am; Thy Love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Miss Elliott wrote about a hundred and fifty hymns, of
which the finest and most widely known is the one we have
Yp<|YMNS form a most important part of our worship.
JLx| They mold character and often shape the Hves
Wi of those who sing them. For these reasons hymns
should never be chosen carelessly, but always
with respect to the occasion and the sentiment.
"Alas! and did my Saviour bleed,
And did my Sovereign die?"
is a very beautiful and appropriate Good Friday hymn
which came as a most discordant note to our ears im-
mediately following the sermon at a Harvest Festival.
It had no meaning there.
Our worship will mean much more to us when we have
learned to appreciate the hymns we sing. When we
appreciate them, know their history, peculiar character
and inner meaning, we will use them appropriately.
When thus used we will enter into their spirit and they will
add harmony and meaning to the worship of the day.
There is unusual force to the hymns of Lent which in
themselves furnish a rich field of study. An interpretation
of a few will we trust send our readers to the sources that
they may make a general study of the hymns which sing
into our lives the facts and the spirit of the season which
inspires the Christian to take up the cross and follow after
Christ. One of the grandest of the Lenten hymns is from
the pen of Isaac Watts.
LENTEN HYMNS 65
watts' survey of the cross
When I survey the wondrous Cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His Blood.
See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet.
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a tribute far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my Kfe, my all.
This h>Tnn is placed by very competent critics among
the four hymns w^hich stand at the head of hymns in the
English language. Grand as it is, we know little concerning
its origin. Like many of the hymns of Isaac Watts, little
is known beyond the date of publication, which is given as
1709. The hymn is a classic in its language, in its thought
and in its spirit. The faith w^hich it should inspire is the
kind which will sustain and carry through life.
Isaac Watts, the author, was born at Southampton,
England, July 17, 1764. He was offered a university
education if he w^ould become a minister of the Church of
England, but he declined, preferring to become a ''Dis-
senter." He preached his first sermon when he was
twenty-four years of age. He became a distinguished
writer, most of his writings being classics which have found
66 FAVORITE HYMNS
an honored place in the permanent Uterature of the
English language. Among his best hymns we must note
his great missionary hymn —
"Jesus shall reign where'er the sun,"
and his beautiful rendition of the 98th Psalm, without the
singing of which there would be something lacking from
the observance of Christm^as, namely —
"Joy to the world, the Lord is come!"
Then there is his invocation of the Holy Spirit —
"Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,"
which is a standard hymn of invocation and a universal
AN APOSTROPHE TO JESUS
Hail, Thou once despised Jesus!
Hail, Thou Galilean King!
Thou didst suffer to release us;
Thou didst free salvation bring.
Hail, Thou agonizing Saviour,
Bearer of our sin and shame!
By Thy merits we find favor;
Life is given through Thy Name.
Paschal Lamb, by God appointed,
All our sins on Thee were laid;
By almighty Love anointed.
Thou hast full Atonement made.
All Thy people are forgiven
Through the virtue of Thy Blood:
Opened is the gate of heven;
Peace is made 'twixt man and God.
"Not My will, hut Thine be done.
LENTEN HYMNS 67
Jesus, hail, enthroned in glory,
There for ever to abide!
All the heavenly hosts adore Thee,
Seated at Thy Father's side:
There for sinners Thou art pleading,
There Thou dost our place prepare,
Ever for us interceding,
Till in glory we appear.
Worship, honor, power, and blessing,
Thou art worthy to receive;
Loudest praises, without ceasing,
Meet it is for us to give.
Help, ye bright angeHc spirits,
Bring your sweetest, noblest lays,
Help to sing our Saviour's merits,
Help to chant Immanuel's praise.
This hymn is very widely used. It is probably the most
popular hymn from the pen of John Blakewell. It was
published in 1760. While particularly appropriate during
the Lenten season, this hymn beautifully summarizes both
the humiliation and the exaltation, the passion and the
triumph of Jesus. Hence it finds a place in many a service
of praise as well as of passion, serving to lift the worshiper
who sings it up to a sympathetic as well as a believing
approach to Christ.
The author, John Blakewell, was bom at Brailsford,
Derbyshire, England, in 1721. Through the reading of a
book when he was eighteen years of age his mind was
directed into religious channels. He became an ardent
evangelist, preaching his first sermon in 1744. While in
London he became acquainted with the Wesleys and be-
came actively associated with them in their evangelistic
work. For a time he conducted a school at Greenwich.
This school was known as the Royal Park Academy.
68 FAVORITE HYMNS
He died at the advanced age of ninety-eight years, March,
1819. While best known by his hymn quoted above, he
was the author of several others, which are quite popular,
"Paschal Lamb by God appointed,"
''Jesus, Hail! enthroned in glory,"
One of the grandest hymns of the church for use in the
Lenten season is from the pen of Bernard of Clair vaux.
A CLASSIC HYMN ON JESUS' PASSION
sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns. Thy only crown!
O sacred Head, what glory,
What bliss, till now, was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call Thee mine.
How art Thou pale with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish,
Which once was bright as morn!
What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered.
Was all for sinners' gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Saviour!
'Tis I deserve Thy place!
Look on me with Thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.
Receive me, my Redeemer:
My Shepherd, make me Thine!
Of every good the Fountain, '
Thou art the Spring of mine!
LENTEN HYMNS 69
What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end!
O make me Thine for ever.
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never,
Outlive my love to Thee.
Forbid that I should leave Thee;
O Jesus, leave not me;
In faith may I receive Thee,
When death shall set me free.
W^hen strength and comfort languish,
And I must hence depart.
Release me then from anguish
By Thine own wounded heart.
The beauty of this hymn is that it enters into deepest
sympathy with Christ in His passion and at the same
time breathes strong personal faith in the atonement. We
owe a great debt of gratitude for this hymn to St. Bernard
of Clairvaux, whose Latin original we consider his master-
piece. A rich and beautiful German rendering of this
hymn is from the pen of that great Lutheran hymn
writer, Paul Gerhardt, whose, ''O Haupt voll Blut und
Wunden" is found in practically all good German hymn
The best English translation of this hymn is by James
W. Alexander, an American Presbyterian clergyman.
He made his transaction in 1830.
Dr. Schaff, the greatest of American Presbyterian
theologians, in speaking of this old hymn of the church
says: ''This classic hymn has shown in three tongues —
Latin, German and English — and in three confessions —
Roman, Lutheran and Reformed — with equal effect the
70 FAVORITE HYMNS
dying love of our Saviour and our limitless indebtedness to
THE PASSION STORY IN SONG
Go to dark Gethsemane,
Ye that feel the tempter's power:
Your Redeemer's conflict see;
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.
Follow to the judgment-hall,
View the Lord of life arraigned;
O the wormwood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss;
Learn of Him to bear the cross.
Calvary's mournful mountain climb:
There, adoring at His feet,
Mark that miracle of time,
God's own sacrifice complete:
"It is finished," hear Him cry:
Learn of Jesus Christ to die.
Early hasten to the tomb.
Where they laid His breathless day;
All is solitude and gloom:
Who hath taken Him away?
Christ is risen! — He meets our eyes:
Saviour, teach us so to rise.
This is a hymn which is pre-eminently a hymn for the
penitent sinner who is led to Christ and follows Him in His
sufferings and on to His resurrection triumph. It is a
hymn which makes the man who sings it feel the passion
and realize the death and triumph of Christ. It is so very
realistic that it does not appeal to those whose religion is
LENTEN HYMNS 71
merely sentiment; it is, however, a source of comfort
and strength to the man who reaUzes sin and what the
Saviour suffered that sin might be atoned for.
There are two texts of this hymn. They are both by the
same author, James Montgomery, and stand side by side,
some preferring the one version, and some the other. It
first appeared in 1820, the second version appearing in
1825. The author was the son of a Moravian minister.
He was born in Irvine, Ayrshire, England, November 4,
177 1. He died at Sheffield April 30, 1854. When he
was but six years old he was sent to a Moravian school.
He tells how the first Moravian Easter service at this
school impressed him. This service, ending in the
cemetery, was like the wind sweeping over an air harp,
making wild and mysterious music in his soul. These
childhood impressions find expression in all probability
in his later life in this 'Toem of Passion and Victory."
He has added some very rich treasures to the hymns of
the Church; but this is the one contribution which he has
made to our favorites for the Lenten season.
AN ANONYMOUS HYMN
Glory be to Jesus,
Who, in bitter pains.
Poured for me the life-blood
From His sacred veins!
Grace and life eternal
In that Blood I find;
Blest be His compassion,
Blest through endless ages
Be the precious stream,
Which from endless torments
Did the world redeem!
72 FAVORITE HYMNS
Abel's blood for vengeance
Pleaded to the skies:
But the Blood of Jesus
For our pardon cries!
Oft as earth exulting
Wafts its praise on high,
Angel hosts rejoicing
Make their glad reply.
Lift we then our voices,
Swell the mighty flood;
Louder still, and louder
Praise the precious Blood!
This hymn is so beautiful in sentiment and, when sung
to its proper melody, so sweet that it appeals to both
young and old. A child four years old caught the melody
and remembered the words of this beautiful hymn and
sang it at her play. She loved it. The incident is a
strong rebuke to those who say that little children will
not like or sing solemn or the oft times called ''heavy"
hymns and music. They will love and sing that which
they are taught. We thus have the opportunity, by teach-
ing them the good standard hymns of the Church and
those hymns which reflect the teachings and life of
the Church, to implant and cultivate a true faith and
Beautiful as this little hymn is, the author of it is un-
known. Neither can it be stated with certainty when it
was written. It was originally written in Latin and is by
some Italian writer. It is sometimes credited, but with
little authority, to St. Alfonso. It is generally regarded as
being a hymn of the eighteenth century.
LENTEN HYMNS 73
The well-known Faber has made a translation of this
hymn, to which he has added a note: *'To all the faithful
who say or sing the above hymn, Pius VII (1800-1823)
grants an indulgence of one hundred days; applicable also
to the souls in purgatory." We attribute no such merit to
the singing of this beautiful Uttle hymn, but delight to
use it in the popular translation which was made in 1857
by E. Caswell.
Strange as it may seem, the author of one of our most
beautiful Lenten hymns, one which especially extols
the cross of Christ, was a Unitarian. We refer to *'In the
cross of Christ I glory." The author. Sir John Bowring,
was a member of the British Parliament, a radical in
politics, but a man of strong character, possessed of
quaHties which made him a favorite. He was quite a
linguist. Because of this fact and of his mterest in
politics he became British consul at Hong Kong, China.
While holding this position he visited Macao, on the coast
of South China. Here Vasco De Gama had built a great
cathedral on the crest of a hill, with a splendid approach
of stone steps. A violent sea typhoon, however, had
destroyed it; but, strange to say, although the cathedral
fell, the front wall remained standing, defying wind and
storm. On its very top there is a large bronze cross
standing clear cut against the sky, defying rain and
lightning and typhoon. It is a striking sight, beholding
which. Sir John Bowring was inspired to write the grand
hymn which multitudes have loved to sing.
Certainly this hymn will have more significance to us
since we know the circumstances which inspired it. That
mighty cross, surmounting the ruins and reaching out as
it were into the very blue of the heavens, is before us
as we sing it.
74 FAVORITE HYMNS
UNITARIANS GLORYING IN THE CROSS
In the Cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
All the Ught of sacred story-
Gathers round its head sublime.
When the woes of life o'er take me,
Hopes deceive and fears annoy,
Never shall the Cross forsake me;
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.
When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the Cross the radiance streaming
Adds new lustre to the day.
Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the Cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.
HYMNS FOR P.\LM SUNDAY
J^:^ HERE are volumes of sermons in the songs we sing.
^^ In the choosing, therefore, of the hymns v/e use
SS88 we should give special thought both to theme and
melody. If we fail to do this we will do violence
to the spirit of the h^nnn and rob it of its special meaning.
To illustrate, in a ser\ice of thanksgiving, immediately fol-
lowing a sermon on the blessings of the harvest, to sing
"Alas! and did my Saviour bleed," as was done on a
certain occasion, is to do violence to the sermon, the oc-
casion and to good common sense.
In the choice of hymns attention must not only be given
to the selection of a tune which will jingle pleasingly on the
ear. If the song is to reach and touch the heart, as it
should, due attention must be given to the times and
seasons, as well as to the words and melody. When all
blend in perfect harmony the hymn becomes a vital part
of the worship of the day. It will often bring out, impress
and send home the lessons of the sermon. For these
reasons the most beautiful hymn may be entirely out of
place, as was Watts' "Good Friday Hymn" in a service of
Giving special thought to the time as well as the theme,
certain hymns have become closely identified with certain
festival days. Thus when Palm Sunday comes and the
children approach the altar to ratify their baptismal vows
and give their hearts to Jesus in the beautiful confirmation
service, and when we realize that the day is the first of the
76 FAVORITE HYMNS
"week of woe" for the suffering Saviour, we logically think
of that special Palm Sunday hymn, "Gloria, Laus, et
Honor,'' by Theodulph of Orleans. The wording as well
as the origin of this hymn make it peculiarly a hymn for
the day. To know the story of this hymn is to find much
more in its beautiful lines and to get much more edification
and worship out of it than otherwise would be possible.
THEODULPH^S PALM SUNDAY HYMN
All glory, praise, and honor
To Thee, Redeemer King;
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.
Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David's royal Son,
Who in the Lord's name comest,
The King, the blessed One!
The company of angels
Are praising Thee on high,
And mortal men, and all things
Created, make reply.
The people of the Hebrews
With palms before Thee went;
Our praise and prayer and anthems
Before Thee we present.
To Thee before Thy passion
They sang their hymns of praise,
To Thee, now high exalted.
Our melody we raise.
Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King!
HYMNS FOR PALM SUNDAY 77
The author, Theodulph of Orleans, was born in Italy in
the eighth century. He was Abbot of a Benedictine mon-
astery in Florence, but on the invitation of Charlemagne
removed to France, where, about 785 A. D., he became
Bishop of Orleans. After the death of Charlemagne he
continued for some time on friendly terms with the
Emperor Louis, but falling under suspicion of being impli-
cated in a plot in favor of Bernard of Italy, he was im-
prisoned at Angers. The story is that while thus im-
prisoned the emperor was in the procession on Palm Sunday
morning. This procession on its way to the church passed
the prison where Theodulph was. As the procession passed
his window he sang the words of this hymn, ^^Gloria^ LauSj
et Honor." The singing is said to have reached the ear
of the emperor, touched his heart and secured the liberty
of the singer.
The hymns of Theodulph were the best of the age in
which he lived. Certainly his "Palm Sunday Hymn,"
which has been preserved for us through the centuries
and furnished to us in these latter days in a most excellent
English translation by John Mason Neale, is full of
scriptural truth and so vivid in its imagery as to make
it most edifying and helpful as a part of a Palm Sunday
Another hymn which has been written especially for
Palm Sunday and which seems out of place at any other
milm.\n's ride on, ride on in majesty
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die!
O Christ, Thy triumphs now begin
O'er captive death and conquered sin.
78 FAVORITE HYMNS
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
The angel armies of the sky-
Look down with sad and wondering eyes,
To see the approaching Sacrifice.
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh:
The Father on His sapphire throne
Expects His own anointed Son.
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die!
Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain,
Then take, O God, Thy power, and reign.
The imagery of this hymn is so true to the scriptural
facts of the triumphal entry and the tragic events of Holy
Week that when it is sung to its proper tune we can almost
see the hosts entering Jerusalem and follow with the eye
the weary march to Calvary as we sing.
The author of this hymn was Henry Hart Milman, the
youngest son of an English court physician. He was born
February lo, 1791. He gave promise of being a poet of
note and contributed thirteen hymns to the collection of
Bishop Heber. He turned, however, to general literary
work and became an historical and theological writer of
note. As an illustration of pure devotion we know of
nothing that is superior to that hymn of his which begins:
"Oh, help us. Lord! each hour of need
Thy heavenly succor give;
Help us in thought and word and deed,
Each hour on earth we live!"
* A hymn which the children love to sing and which is
missionary in its note as well as Palm Sunday in its imagery
is in extensive use today. We might call it
HYMNS FOR PALM SUNDAY 79
THE children's PALM SUNDAY HYMN
When His salvation bringing,
To Zion Jesus came,
The children all stood singing
Hosanna to His name.
Nor did their zeal offend Him,
But as He rode along,
He let them still attend Him,
And smiled to hear their song.
And since the Lord retaineth
His love for children still,
Though now as King He reigneth
On Zion's heavenly hill;
We'll flock around His banner,
Who sits upon the throne,
And cry aloud, "Hosanna
To David's royal Son!"
For should we fail proclaiming
Our great Redeemer's praise,
The stones, our silence shaming,
Might well hosanna raise.
But shall we only render
The tribute of our words?
No; while our hearts are tender,
They, too, shall be the Lord's.
While the hymn is loved and extensively used, there
seems to be great difficulty in determining the facts of its
authorship. It is credited to a young curate of Welling-
ton, Shropshire, whose name was Joshua King. Some
would change the Joshua to John. It was first published
in London in 1830 in a selection of hymns called "Gwyther's
Psalmist." Even if we know little of the origin or the
8o FAVORITE HYMNS
author, we sing it because of its fitness and beauty, and
find in it special inspiration.
A Hymn with which to Begin Holy Week
Dr. John Mason Neale, who was a prolific translator of
hymns, has furnished us a short but very appropriate
hymn, which is especially fitting to be sung on Palm Sunday
evening. The circumstances of its composition are not
given, but the lines themselves are so expressive that they
have found and will retain a place in evangelical hynmody.
DR. NEALE's hymn FOR HOLY WEEK
O Thou, who through this holy week
Didst suffer for us all;
The sick to cure, the lost to seek,
To raise them up that fall;
We cannot understand the woe
Thy love was pleased to bear;
O Lamb of God, we only know
That all our hopes are there!
Thy feet the path of suffering trod;
Thy hand the victory won;
What shall we render to our God
For all that He hath done?
The one day of triumph for Jesus, the day of His
triumphal entry into Jerusalem, necessarily makes us think
of that hymn which Dr. Duffield declares " has become
the English Te Deum," sharing with Bishop Ken's doxology
the spontaneous approval of all Christian hearts. We may
well call it
HYMNS FOR PALM SUNDAY 8 1
THE CORONATION HYMN OF CHRIST
All hail the power of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Ye chosen seed of Israel's race,
Ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him, ye heirs of David's line,
Whom David Lord did call;
The God incarnate, Man divine;
And crown Him Lord of all.
Ye Gentile sinners, ne'er forget
The wormwood and the gall;
Go, spread your trophies at His feet,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Let every kindred, every tribe.
On this terrestrial ball,
To Him all majesty ascribe.
And crown Him Lord of all.
Oh, that with yonder sacred throng
We at His feet may fall;
We'll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all.
The author of this hymn, the Rev. Edward Perronet,
was descended from French refugees. He was what is
known £ls a dissenting preacher, who, for a time, was an
intimate associate of the Wesleys. Like Mrs. Adams, the
author of "Nearer, My God, to Thee," he wrote many
hymns; but, like Mrs. Adams, he wrote only one really
82 FAVORITE HYIMNS
great hymn. Of this hymn it has been said, ''That one
hymn was enough; the man did not Hve in vain who
taught Christ's Church her grandest coronation hymn in
honor of her King."
This hymn was written in 1779 and published in The
Gospel Magazine in 1780. In England it is usually sung
to the tune of "Miles Lane," but in America it is nearly
always sung to the tune of ''Coronation." This tune was
composed by a carpenter by the name of Oliver Holden.
It is a soul-stirring tune, which, associated with Perronet's
stirring words, will certainly preserve the carpenter's name
to future generations.
There is a striking incident from the mission fields in
India which illustrates the power of this hymn in the
presenting of Christ in His unique position as man's
Redeemer. A missionary, the Rev. E. P. Scott, having
learned of an inland tribe which had never heard the gospel
and that it was exceedingly dangerous to go among them
because of a murderous spirit and propensity, felt, never-
theless, that because he had learned of them God wanted
him to take the gospel to them. He took his satchel and
a violin, and, bidding farewell to his friends, who said it
was simply madness, he set out. After journeying for
some days suddenly he came upon a large company of
these savage people. They surrounded him and had their
spears pointed at his heart. Praying for aid, he drew
forth his violin, played and sang, "All Hail the Power of
Jesus' Name." He shut his eyes through fear, expecting
at every note to have the spears hurled at him and the
song be brought to a sudden and cruel end. As he sang,
"Let every kindred, every tribe," he took courage to open
his eyes and look. To his surprise, the spears were lowered
and the savages were all attention, some of them even
HYMNS FOR PALM SUNDAY 83
having tears in their eyes. He stayed there and established
a mission. When he left for a needed furlough on account
of his health they pleaded with him to come back. He did
so, and entered into his eternal reward with those savages
acknowledging Christ as their King. They first heard of
Him through the words, ''AH hail the power of Jesus'
name," sung to the tune of "Coronation."
The triumphant thought of the closing line of every
stanza is "And crown Him Lord of all." In the beautiful
Cologne Cathedral there is an image which illustrates this
thought. The image, which is made of oak, represents a
giant Offero, in search of a master. He served a great
king until he learned that the prince of darkness was
mightier than the king. He then began to serve Satan,
but walking with Satan they came to a crucifLx. Satan
trembled and would not pass, for he admitted "that Christ,
who rules in heaven and had suffered on the cross for men,
had overcome him." Then Offero took Christ for his
Master. He never had to change masters again, for he
had found Him who in the words of Perronet is "Lord of
Both the hymn and the day emphasize the kingly office
of Christ, which fact calls to mind another hymn by the
same writer, written about five years later, or in 1785.
This hymn is a greeting to Christ as our King. The
opening stanza declares,
"Hail, holy, holy, holy Lord!
Let powers immortal sing.
Adore the co-eternal word,
Rejoice, the Lord is King!"
HE strife is o'er, the battle done!" is the expression
of the attitude of the Christian as he welcomes
Easter with its messages of victory. Even more
joyful than Christmas, yet how different the
note. That was the child's festival, and there was much
of joy in anticipation. The spirit of the day warranted the
tone of merriment in the melody. The leading note now
is equally, if not more joyful; but it is the note of deepest
joy in fullest realization; the songs of victory which come
from the throats of strong men and old men as well as of
women and of children. They are a mighty host rejoicing
over the battles of the Lord and the victory which is
final and complete. This is the thought which should be
in our minds as we consider, and select "Our Favorite
This sentiment prevailed in the early Church. Hence
it is that the hymn which to us is familiar from its first
line, which reads:
"The strife is o'er, the battle done!"
was produced in the twelfth century, and is a product of
the ancient Latin Church. In the original the first line
"Finita Jam sunt praelia!"
A double "Alleluia" is generally prefixed to the several
stanzas of this hymn. It is the Christian note which is
EASTER HYMNS 85
very much like the warrior's shout when his enemy flees
and he knows the victory is his.
The hymn is known to EngUsh readers through two very
good translations. These were made by the Rev. Francis
Pott and Dr. Neale. The former's translation is that
which is used in our own hymn books.
Rev. Pott, a clergyman of the Church of England, was
born December 29, 1832. In addition to being a success-
ful translator of hymns he is the author of a number of
original hymns. Among these, perhaps, his best and most
favorably knowTi hynm is the one which begins, "Angel
voices ever singing."
A HYMN OF STRIFE AND VICTORY
The strife is o'er, the battle done!
The victory of Ufa is won;
The song of triumph has begun,
The pow'rs of death have done their worst,
But Christ their legions hath dispersed;
Let shouts of holy joy outburst,
The three sad days are quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead:
All glory to our risen Head!
He closed the yawning gates of Hell;
The bars from Heav'n's high portals fell!
Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell!
Lord! by the stripes which wounded Thee,
From Death's dread sting Thy servants free.
That we may live, and sing to Thee,
86 FAVORITE HYMNS
Another Latin hymn which is in common use at Easter
is ''Welcome, happy morning, Age to age shall say."
In the original this hymn contained many verses, beginning
with the expression ''Salva Festa dies." The author of
this hymn was Fortunatus. His full name was Venantius
Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus. He was born about
530 A. D., and died about 609 A. D., at Poitiers. His
career was quite romantic. He was very poetical, and
through his poetry gained the favor of King Sigibert, of
Auslrasia, at whose court he lived. Later he went to
Tours and afterward to Poitiers, where he entered a
monastery and became bishop of Poitiers in 599 A. D.
Our readers would find his life-story a very profitable and
interesting bit of reading.
The hymn, as we have it and as it is most generally used,
was translated and abridged by John Ellerton. In many
respects this beautiful hymn supplements the strife and
victory song which we have just given. It sums up most
instructively the fruits of the victory which Jesus wins for
us in His resurrection. There are a number of interesting
stories associated with this ancient hymn of the Church.
They show how precious its truths must have been to
men in trials and perils. We give an instance to increase
the reader's appreciation of the hymn.
Jerome of Prague, on his way to execution, sang several
hymns. This ancient hymn by the bishop of Poitiers
was one of those which he sang. After singing it, as the
fire enveloped him, he cried, ''This soul in flames I offer,
Lord to Thee," and died.
Archbishop Cranmer, of Canterbury, in 1544 made an
English version of this Easter hymn of "Welcome."
He at the same time recommended its adoption and use in
the English church. This document is still in existence.
EASTER HYMNS 87
A HYMN WHICH WAS SUNG IN THE FIRE
Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say.
Hell today is vanquished; heaven is won today!
Lo! the Dead is Hving, God for evermore!
Him, their true Creator, all His works adore.
Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say,
Hell today is vanquished; heaven is won today!
Earth her joy confesses, clothing her for spring,
All good gifts returned with her returning King;
Bloom in every meadow, leaves on every bough,
Speak His sorrows ended, hail His triumph now.
Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say,
Hell today is vanquished; heaven is won today!
Months in due succession, days of lengthening light,
Hours and passing moments praise Thee in their flight,
Brightness of the morning, sky and fields and sea.
Vanquisher of darkness, bring their praise to Thee.
Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say,
Hell today is vanquished; heaven is won today!
Maker and Redeemer, Life and Health of all,
Thou from heaven beholding human nature's fall,
Of the Father's Godhead, true and only Son,
Manhood to deliver, manhood didst put on.
Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say,
Hell today is vanquished; heaven is won today!
Thou, of life the Author, death didst undergo,
Tread the path of darkness, saving strength to show;
Come then. True and Faithful, now fulfil Thy word;
'Tis Thine own third morning: rise, O buried Lord!
Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say.
Hell today is vanquished; heaven is won today!
Loose the souls long prisoned, bound with Satan's chain;
All that now is fallen raise to life again;
Show Thy face in brightness, bid the nations see;
Bring again our dayhght; day returns with Thee!
Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say,
Hell today is vanquished; heaven is won today!
88 FAVORITE HYMNS
The great Luther achieved some of his greatness through
his hymns, the influence of which there were those who
dreaded as much as they did his sermons. His great and
hopeful heart compelled a vigor and a melody confident of
victory. Strong of faith, fearless of consequences in the
battles which he waged for the Lord in the Reformation of
the Church, his hymns have a ruggedness and a strength
which are found both in the words and the melody which
mark them as distinct and peculiarly and distinctively
evangelical. Without exception Luther's hymns in
thought, wording and melody reflect the spirit of the
Reformation, and their use will materially increase faith,
devotion and churchliness.
This historic background of the man and the times will
help us to appreciate his grand Easter hymn, which in its
English dress appears to us as beginning thus:
"Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands,
For our offences given."
The German hymn was first published at Erfurt in 1524.
The hymn was based on an old Latin hymn, "Victimae
Paschali Laudes." It was a sequence of the eleventh or
twelfth century. There were earlier German translations
also; but while these earlier German and Latin hymns and
the Scriptural notices of the Passover lamb furnished Lu-
ther the material of this beautiful hymn, yet the working
out is entirely original and the result is a hymn which is
second only to his unequaled "A mighty fortress is our
God." Like the Reformation itself, which looked back-
ward and gathered out of the ancient Church all that was
good and true and purified it, making it truly a Church of
Luther, yet really the Church of Christ, so in this hymn
Luther makes actually his own that which was ancient, but
EASTER HYMNS 89
which comes out in a Reformation mould, which has given
to us one of the most expressive of our Easter hymns.
There are at least four different translations of this
Luther hymn which have merit. That which probably
best expresses the thought and breathes the spirit of
Luther is the translation by Richard Massie. He made
it in 1854. It appears in "Martin Luther's Spiritual
Songs." We are glad to have these English translations
of the old historic hymns of the Church; but to enter fully
into their spirit it will in all cases be helpful to know the
LUTHER 'S EASTER HYMN
Christ Jesus lay in Death's strong bands,
For our offences given;
But now at God's Right Hand He stands,
And brings us life from heaven:
Wherefore let us joyful be,
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of Alleluia!
It was a strange and dreadful strife,
When Life and Death contended;
The victory remained with Life,
The reign of Death was ended;
Stript of power, no more he reigns;
An empty form alone remains;
His sting is lost for ever!
So let us keep the festival
Whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is Himself the joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us;
By His grace He doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended!
go FAVORITE HYMNS
Then let us feast this Easter day
On the true Bread of heaven;
The word of grace hath purged away
The old and wicked leaven:
Christ alone our souls will feed;
He is our Meat and Drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other!
AN EASTER HYMN FROM THE LATIN
Christ the Lord is ris'n today;
Christians, haste your vows to pay;
Offer ye your praises meet
At the Paschal victim's feet.
For the sheep the Lamb hath bled,
Sinless in the sinner's stead;
''Christ is ris'n," today we cry;
Now He lives no more to die.
Christ, the victim undefiled,
Man to God hath reconciled;
While in strange and awful strife
Met together Death and Life:
Christians, on this happy day
Haste with joy your vows to pay;
^'Christ is ris'n," today we cry;
Now He lives no more to die.
Christ, who once for sinners bled,
Now that first-born from the dead,
Throned in endless might and power,
Lives and reigns for evermore.
Hail, Eternal Hope on high!
Hail, Thou King of victory!
Hail, Thou Prince of Hfe adored!
Help and save us, gracious Lord.
This hymn is another which has come to us from the
Latin. It has sometimes been credited to Nother, of St.
EASTER HYMNS 91
Gall; but it is more likely a hymn of the eleventh or twelfth
century. The oldest book in which it has been found is
the "Lyra Davidica," which was published in 1708 A. D.
The translation in use was made by a ^liss Jane Leeson,
who has published a number of hymns under the title of
''Hymns and Scenes of Childhood." Little if anything is
known of her personal history. Yet her name will live,
for she wrote the hymn:
"Saviour, teach me day by day,
Love's sweet lesson to obey."
Though we know so little of her, yet we remember her,
and she did not live in vain. Her prayer is the petition of
many a child which sounds sweetly into the ear of the
Saviour, our Master Teacher.
A BOHEMIAN EASTER HYMN
Christ the Lord is risen again;
Christ hath broken every chain;
Hark, angelic voices cry.
Singing evermore on high,
He Who gave for us His life,
Who for us endured the strife,
Is our Paschal Lamb today;
We, too, sing for joy, and say,
He Who bore all pain and loss
Comfortless upon the Cross,
Lives in glory now on high.
Pleads for us and hears our cry.
92 FAVORITE HYMNS
He Who slumbered in the grave,
Is exalted now to save;
Now through Christendom it rings
That the Lamb is King of kings,
Thou our Paschal Lamb indeed,
Christ, Thy ransomed people feed;
Take our sins and guilt away,
That we all may sing for aye,
This is an Easter hymn from the first hymn book of the
Bohemian Brethren. It appeared in 1 53 1 . These ''Breth-
ren" allied themselves in the time of the Reformation with
Luther. In their doctrines they laid special stress on the
Eucharist in both kinds for the communicants, namely,
that they should have both the bread and the wine;
the preaching of God's word should be free to every man;
the clergy should have no temporal authority; public
crimes should be punished. In modern times Count
Zinzendorf revived their teachings, and we have their
successors in the Moravian Church. The German original
of this hymn begins:
"Christus ist erstanden von des Todes Banden."
It is credited in its German form to Michael Weisse. It
evidently, however, was suggested by a still older hymn,
"Christ ist erstanden von der Marter alle."
It goes back in its original to at least the twelfth century.
The translation, which is used in English, is that of Miss
EASTER HYMNS 93
Winkworth, who has been very busy with her pen in serv-
ing the Church by furnishing many of the beautiful trans-
lations of ancient hymns. Michael Weisse, like Luther,
did much to enrich German hynmology. His work was
principally translations from the ancient Latin.
How rich German hymnology is! Our blood and our
tongue are English; but when we begin to look for our
favorite hymns we must often turn to those which come
from the land of Luther. So it is that Christian F.
Gellert has furnished us a splendid Easter hymn which is a
great favorite and has come into almost general use in
English hymn books. That hymn in the original begins:
"Jesus Lebt! mit Ihm auch ich."
This hymn was first published at Leipzig in 1757.
It was in six six-line stanzas. The keynote of the hymn
is to be found in John 14 : 19. It is his finest hymn and
has its own peculiar lyric character. For the last fifty
years there has scarcely been a hymn book of any im-
portance in English-speaking countries which has not
contained it. This alone should assure it a place among
the favorite hymns.
While originally written as an Easter hymn, it has also
found its way into favor as a hymn for the dying and also
for use at the consecration of cemeteries. It is often sung
at funerals. Notable occasions have been in St. Paul's,
London, at the funeral of the Lord Mayor G. S. Nottage,
April 18, 1885; also that of Bishop McDougall, of Labuan,
in Winchester Cathedral. How our appreciation of the
old hymns increases as we learn their history.
No Easter is complete without the singing of Charles
Wesley's grand Easter hymn, which tells the Easter story
94 FAVORITE HYMNS
and raises us with the story to a new life in a way which
is inspiring. The original hymn had eleven stanzas. It
appeared in 1739. The hymn, sung to an adaptation of
Handel's ''See the conquering Hero comes," is "a, sermon
The effect of this hymn is illustrated by an incident.
It afforded great comfort to Thomas Lacy, an earnest
English Methodist. On Easter morning he repeated the
first stanza to his sister. His voice in his physical weakness
faltered. At its close he was told that death was near.
"Then," he replied, "I have a pleasant prospect before
Wesley's easter sermon in song
Christ the Lord is risen today,
Sons of men and angels say.
Raise your joys and triumphs high;
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply.
Love's redeeming work is done,
Fought the fight, the battle won;
Lo! the Sun's eclipse is o'er;
Lo! He sets in blood no more.
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal;
Christ has burst the gates of hell!
Death in vain forbids His rise;
Christ hath opened Paradise.
Lives again our glorious King;
Where, O Death, is now thy sting?
Dying once, He all doth save.
Where thy victory, O Grave?
Soar we now where Christ hath led,
Following our exalted Head:
Made like Him, like Him we rise;
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies!
EASTER HYMNS 95
Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to Thee by both be given:
Thee we greet triumphant now;
Hail, the Resurrection Thou!
Charles Wesley, the author of this hymn, was the greatest
hymn writer of the Wesley family, and it was a large and a
noted one, Charles being the eighteenth child of Samuel
and Susanna Wesley. He is the author, it is said, of 6500
hymns. He was a Methodist clergyman, and is knowTi as
one of the ''Oxford Methodists." A good Methodist, he
has wTitten not a few hymns which the various churches
wdth practical unanimity have taken up and adopted into
the family of good Evangelical hyTnns. "Christ the Lord
is risen today," the lines of which usually end with the
"Hallelujah," is one of them.
The origin of that ancient hymn, "The day of Resurrec-
tion," and the occasion of its singing are so interesting
and suggestive that we conclude with the ston^ of this
h>Tnn which is necessary to the completion of the songs
of the sanctuary at Easter time. Dr. John Mason Neale,
the translator, calls it a "glorious old hymn of \dctory."
It is part of the canon for Easter of John Damascus, who
died 780 A. D.
The circumstances of this old song are very interesting.
The scene was at Athens. We are told that as midnight
approached the archbishop and the priests, accompanied
by the king and the queen, left the church and stationed
themselves on the pla tf orm, which was raised considerably
above the ground. This was in order that the concourse
of people might have a good view. A vast throng stood
in breathless expectation. All held unhghted tapers, in
readiness for when the glad moment should arrive. Mean-
while the priests murmured a melancholy chant. Suddenly
96 FAVORITE HYMNS
a cannon announced that midnight had passed and Easter
Day had begun. The archbishop elevated the cross and
exclaimed exultantly, "Christos Anesti," which is, "Christ
is risen." Everyone instantly took up the cry. The vast
multitude broke through and dispelled the intense and
mournful silence. "Christ is risen! Christ is risen!"
echoed and re-echoed everywhere. The darkness was
instantly superseded by a blaze of light. Thousands of
tapers, like streams of fire, gleamed in all directions.
The roll of the drum and the peal of the cannon resounded
throughout the town. Rockets from both hill and plain
shot skyward. Meanwhile the aged priests chanted
joyfully, "Christ is risen from the dead, having trampled
death beneath His feet, and henceforth they that are in
the tombs have everlasting life." Out of this has grown
our Easter hymn, "The day of resurrection."
AN ANCIENT EASTER HYMN
The day of Resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad!
The Passover of gladness,
The Passover of God!
From death to Life eternal,
From earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over,
With hymns of victory.
Our hearts be pure from evil.
That we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal
Of resurrection light:
And listening to His accents,
May hear, so calm and plain,
His own "All hail!"— and, hearing,
May raise the victor strain.
EASTER HYMNS 97
Now let the heavens be joyful!
Let earth her song begin!
Let all the world keep triumph,
And all that is therein:
In grateful exultation
Their notes let all things blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen,
Our Joy that hath no end.
In our celebration of the grand old festival, after v^^e have
learned that there is so much meaning and history in the
old hymns which are our favorites, can we rob ourselves
of much of the joy and of the blessing of the Easter time
by omitting them from our services, and, perhaps, sub-
stituting meaningless ditties, which have as their sole
argument for their introduction the newness of their manu-
factured jingles which appeal to the emotions, but carry
with them nothing w^hich is historic or fundamental to the
greatest fact of our redemption — the resurrection of our
J^s^ HE Saviour Himself has styled Himself the Good
^^ Shepherd. The figure is so beautiful and ap-
^S8S propriate that it appeals strongly to all Christians.
For this reason quite a few of the hymns which
Christians especially love are hymns to the Good Shepherd
or which recognize Christians as the sheep of the Saviour's
Isaac Watts has given us one of these hymns. Written
in 1 7 19 it combines in the stanzas the recognition of Christ
as the Shepherd and the blessings which come to those
who are of His flock. Mr. W. T. Stead says of this
hymn that it is distinctively a Scotch hymn; but, like some
of the old German and ancient Latin hymns it has become
international and belongs to all Christians who recognize
in Jesus the Good Shepherd. The hymn is an elaboration
of the 23d Psalm. Who does not claim, know and love
that beautiful Shepherd Psalm?
watts' versification of the 23D PSALM
The Lord my Shepherd is,
I shall be well supplied:
Since He is mine, and I am His,
What can I want beside?
He leads me to the place
Where heavenly pasture grows,
Where living waters gently pass.
And full salvation flows.
"/ am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep,
and am known of mine."
SHEPHERD HYMNS 99
If e'er I go astray,
He doth my soul reclaim,
And guides me in His own right way,
For His most holy Name.
While He affords His aid,
I cannot yield to fear:
Though I should walk thro' death's dark shade,
My Shepherd's with me there.
The bounties of Thy love
Shall crown my following days;
Nor from Thy house will I remove,
Nor cease to speak Thy praise.
A hymn for the children which is growing in use and
favor, but of which the author is unknown, and which
appeals very strongly to the imagination of the little ones
is the hymn of W'hich the first stanza is,
Saviour, hke a shepherd lead us.
Much we need Thy tend'rest care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare.
II : Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast bought us. Thine we are. : ||
Another beautiful child's hymn based on the idea of
Jesus as the Good Shepherd comes to us from the pen of a
German woman, Henrietta Louise von Ha}Ti. The writer
was a teacher in a Girl's School at Herrnhut, where she
died in 1782. She was a poetess of some merit, her writings
reflecting a fervent love for Christ. She wrote about forty
hymns which have found their way into the hymn books of
the Moravian Church. Only one of these has come into
lOO FAVORITE HYMNS
use among English people other than the Moravians.
This is her hymn which regards children as Iambs of the
Good Shepherd, the first line of which in German is,
"Weil ich Jesu Schaflein bin." There are several English
translations, the one following being the best known.
MISS VON HAYN's hymn OF THE LAMBS
I am Jesus' little lamb,
Ever glad at heart I am;
Jesus loves me, Jesus knows me,
All things fair and good He shows me,
Even calls me by name;
Every day He is the same.
Safely in and out I go,
Jesus loves and keeps me so,
When I hunger Jesus feeds me;
When I thirst, my Shepherd leads me
Where the waters softly flow.
Where the sweetest pastures grow.
Should I not be always glad?
None whom Jesus loves are sad;
And when this short life is ended
Those whom the God Shepherd tended
Will be taken to the skies,
There to dwell in Paradise.
Another woman has written a hymn which is exceedingly
popular with the children, and which under the figure of
Jesus gathering the lambs tells very beautifully the sweet
story of Jesus and of how we may come to Him and finally
go to Him to be with Him as those who are the lambs of
the kingdom of heaven. The hymn is called,
SHEPHERD HYMNS lOl
"a hymn of the love of JESUS "
I think, when I read that sweet story of old,
When Jesus was here among men,
How He called Httle children as lambs to His fold,
I should like to have been with them then.
I wish that His hands had been placed on my head,
That His arm had been thrown around me,
And that I might have seen His kind look when He said,
*'Let the Httle ones come unto Me."
Yet still to His footstool in prayer I may go,
And ask for a share in His love;
And if I thus earnestly seek Him below,
I shall see Him and hear Him above;
In that beautiful place He has gone to prepare
For all who are washed and forgiven;
Full many dear children are gathering there,
"For of such is the kingdom of heaven."
But thousands and thousands who wander and fail.
Never heard of that heavenly home :
I wish they could know there is room for them all.
And that Jesus has bid them to come.
And O, how I long for that glorious time,
The sweetest and brightest and best,
When the dear little children of every cHme,
Shall crowd to His arms and be blest. Amen.
The writer of this hymn, Jemima Thompson Luke, was
the wife of the Rev. Samuel Luke, a congregational minis-
ter. She wrote poems for a juvenile magazine when she
was only thirteen years of age. These, however, were pub-
lished anonomously. She is kno"'ATi to the Christian world
through the hymn which we have just quoted. It is
I02 FAVORITE HYMNS
told that she wrote it while riding in a stage coach in 184 1,
intending it for use in the village school near the home of
her father. It was originally published without any name ;
but has gradually come into wide use and is making the
name of the woman who wrote it known on both sides of
A hymn which has the distinction of being called the
oldest of Sunday-school hynms is distinctly a hymn which
has as its distinguishing feature a recognition of Jesus as
the Shepherd of Youth.
THE OLDEST SUNDAY-SCHOOL HYMN
Shepherd of tender youth,
Guiding in love and truth
Through devious ways:
Christ, our triumphant King,
We come Thy Name to sing,
And here our children bring,
To join Thy praise.
Thou art our holy Lord,
Healer of strife:
Thou didst Thyself abase,
That from sin's deep disgrace
Thou mightest save our race,
And give us Ufe.
O wisdom's great High Priest
Thou hast prepared the feast
Of holy love;
And in our mortal pain
None calls on Thee in vain:
Help Thou dost not disdain,
Help from above.
"Suffer little children to come unto me.'
SHEPHERD HYMNS 103
Ever be near our side,
Our Shepherd and our Guide,
Our staff and song:
Jesus, Thou Christ of God,
By Thine enduring Word,
Lead us where Thou hast trod;
Make our faith strong.
So now, and till we die,
Sound we Thy praises high,
And joyful sing:
Let all the holy throng
Who to Thy Church belong.
Unite and swell the song
To Christ our King!
This hymn which was written in Greek about the close
of the second or the beginning of the third century is
credited to Clement, of Alexandria, a Christian philosopher
and teacher, whose active life was lived in the latter part
of the second and the beginning of the third century.
The original of the hymn is found in the appendix to the
Tutofy composed by Titus Flavins Clemens, Clement of
Alexandria. The hymn follows a treatise on "Jesus as
the Great Teacher." While the author's references sug-
gest a possible earlier authorship, it is generally called
This hymn from the Greek reminds us of the statement
of history that the disciples who spoke Greek seem to have
been especially tuneful and confirms the statement that
"Greece, the land of poets, was doubtless the cradle of
Christian hymnody." The early believers taught their
songs to their children, and it is as certain that our first
Sunday-school hymn was written somewhere in the land
of the classic East as it is that the Book of Revelation was
written on the Isle of Patmos.
HYMNS OF THE ASCENSION
IN reviewing the use of the hymns of the Ascension,
^^ in order to select those which were the most gen-
j^^^ erally used as the favorites to be described, we
were surprised to note that in several books of
hymns the whole subject of the Ascension had been over-
looked. Yet this is a natural result of the failure to ob-
serve the Church Year by many professing Christians.
They miss the force of the logic and the sequence in
The Ascension fact is a crowning climax to the Easter
triumph. Its setting is picturesque ; its facts fully attested,
and its lessons most reassuring to the believer. While
discoursing to and commissioning His apostles, Jesus
suddenly and visibly ascends beyond the clouds into
heaven, whence He had come, and assumes His seat at
the right hand of Power in eternity. The event in its
manner and in its significance means so much to every
believer in Him that the soul witnessing it may well shout
in exultation in contemplation of the triumphant departure.
The writers of evangelical hymns have not ignored the
triumphant scene which marks the termination of the
physical presence of our Lord upon the earth. The
deep impression which the Ascension should make on our
hearts and lives is most fully expressed in a remarkable
hymn wTitten in German by Gerhard Tersteegen, and
furnished in an excellent English translation by that well-
known translator, Catherine Winkworth. The peculiarity
of the meter has prevented the wide popularity of the
HYMNS OF THE ASCENSION 105
hymn, which, embracing the great facts of the Ascension,
is most expressive.
A PRAYER TO JESUS ON HIS ASCENSION
Conquering Prince and Lord of glory,
Majesty enthroned in Hght!
All the heavens are bowed before Thee,
Far beyond them spreads Thy might.
Shall I fall not at Thy feet,
And my heart with rapture beat,
Now Thy glory is displayed,
Thine ere yet the worlds were made?
As I watch Thee far ascending
To the right hand of the throne.
See the host before Thee bending,
Praising Thee in sweetest tone,
Shall not I too at Thy feet
Here the angels' strain repeat,
And rejoice that heaven doth ring
With the triumph of my King?
Power and Spirit are o'erflowing;
On me also be they poured:
Every hindrance overthrowing,
Make Thy foes Thy footstool, Lord.
Yea, let earth's remotest end
To Thy righteous scepter bend;
Make Thy way before Thee plain.
O'er all hearts and spirits reign.
Lo, Thy presence now is filling
All Thy Church in every place.
Fill my heart too, make me willing
In this season of Thy grace.
Come, Thou King of glory, come,
Deign to make my heart Thy home,
There abide and rule alone,
As upon Thy heavenly throne.
lo6 FAVORITE HYMNS
Thou art leaving me, yet bringing
God and heaven most inly near;
From this earthly life upspringing,
As though still I saw thee here.
Let my heart, transplanted hence,
Strange to earth, and time, and sense,
Dwell with Thee in heaven e'en now,
Where our only joy art Thou!
The author of this hymn, Gerhard Tersteegen, was bom
at Mors, Rhenish Prussia, November 25, 1697. He began
to study for the ministry in the Reformed Church, but
was compelled by the death of his father to go into business.
He soon became what is known as a Mystic, absented
himself from the Holy Communion because he was not
willing to commune with open sinners. He often became
spiritually depressed, and in one of these moods, on Maundy
Thursday, 1724, he wrote out what he called "sl covenant
with God," which he signed with his own blood. He kept
aloof from the established churches, but made no attempt
to organize one of his own. He preached so earnestly
that he strained his voice and in his later years w^as able
to speak only to small audiences. He established a
'Tilgerhutte," or ''Pilgrim's Cottage," for ''Awakened
Sinners," and in preaching and living, as wxU as in hymn
writing, was deeply pious. His hymns, which are quite
numerous, have perpetuated his name. They are found
in both Lutheran and Reformed hymnals. His "Prayer
to Jesus on His Ascension" is an excellent illustration of the
style of his hymns.
An Ascension Hymn of the Middle Ages
M. Guizot, in speaking of the characteristics of the lit-
erature of the "Middle Ages," very correctly states that
HYMNS OF THE ASCENSION 107
which particularly applies to the hymns of the period, "It
ceased to be a literature; it had become an action, a power;
it sought to act on the depths of the soul, to produce real
effects, genuine reformations, effectual conversions. It
was not so much sacred eloquence as a spiritual
One of the writers of this period was the Venerable
Bede. He was in every respect a monk, although he
reflected the better side of the life of the monk, being ex-
ceedingly devout and very studious. Venerable Bede
became a deacon in 692 A. D. and a priest in 702 A. D.
He spent his entire life, however, in the monasteries, dying
on Ascension Day, May 26, 735 A. D. This fact, to-
gether wdth the story of the manner in which he spent his
closing hours of earthly life, will add interest to his Ascen-
A pupil who sat at his feet writes: "He lived joyfully,
gi\dng thanks to God day and night, yea, at all hours, until
the Feast of the Ascension; every day he gave lessons to us,
his pupils, and the rest of his time he occupied in chanting
psalms. He was awake almost the whole night, and spent
it in joy and thanksgiving, and when he awoke from his
short sleep immediately he raised his hands on high and
began again to give thanks. He sang the words of the
apostle Paul — 'It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands
of the living God.' He sang much besides from the Holy
Scriptures, and also many Anglo-Saxon hymns. He sang
antiphons, according to his and our custom, and among
others this one, '0 King of Glory, Lord of power! who
didst this day ascend a victor above all the heavens, leave
us not orphaned behind Thee, but send to us the promised
Spirit of the Father, Hallelujah!' " In the midst of his
singing he had his pupils busy writing out some translations.
io8 FAVORITE HYMNS
He hastened them that the task might be completed. At
last a scholar told him all was written. He said, "It is fin-
ished. Raise my head, for it will do me good to sit oppo-
site my sanctuary, where I was wont to kneel down to
pray, that sitting I may call upon my Father." He seated
himself thus upon the ground in his cell and sang, the
''Glory to Thee, O God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost."
The pupil says: "When he had named the Holy Ghost he
breathed his last." This story of the author and his
ascension to God should give us a new interest in the hymn
which we now quote. We give the entire hymn, for it is
abbreviated in many collections. In the reading of it we
would ask the reader to note the completeness of the poem,
which is like a continued story, needing every thought to
bring out its whole truth. What a mistake is often made
in pubHc worship in cutting out or cutting off important
portions of hymns in order to shorten services! Thus we
often are robbed of the real spirit and blessing of the hymn
VENERABLE BEDE's ASCENSION HYMN
A hymn of glory let us sing;
New hymns throughout the world shall ring;
By a new way none ever trod,
Christ mounteth to the throne of God.
The apostles on the mountain stand —
The mystic mount — in holy land;
They, with the virgin mother, see
Jesus ascend in majesty.
The angels say to the eleven,
"Why stand ye gazing into heaven?
This is the Saviour — this is He!
Jesus hath triumph'd gloriously!"
HYMNS OF THE ASCENSION 109
They said the Lord should come again,
As these beheld Him rising then,
Calm soaring through the radiant sky,
Mounting its dazzUng summits high.
May our affections thither tend.
And thither constantly ascend,
Where, seated on the Father's throne,
Thee reigning in the heavens we own!
Be Thou our present Joy, O Lord,
Who wilt be ever our Reward;
And as the countless ages flee,
May all our glory be in Thee!
Christopher Wordsworth, an English rector of the early
nineteenth centur}-, who was a prolific writer, has left
several permanent contributions to the hymns of merit
and wide use. One of these is a hymn on the Ascension,
which is most picturesque in its language and comprehen-
sive in its teaching.
Wordsworth's picturesque ascension hymn
See the Conqueror mounts in triumph;
See the King in royal state.
Riding on the clouds, His chariot
To His heavenly palace gate!
Hark! the choir of angel voices.
Joyful alleluias sing.
And the portals high are Hfted
To receive their heavenly Kjng.
W^ho is this that comes in glory.
With the trump of jubilee?
Lord of battles, God of armies.
He hath gained the victory!
He who on the cross did suffer,
He who from the grave arose,
He hath vanquished sin and Satan,
He by death hath spoiled His foes.
no FAVORITE HYMNS
Now our heavenly Aaron enters,
With His blood within the veil;
Joshua now is come to Canaan,
And the kings before Him quail;
Now He plants the tribes of Israel
In their promised resting-place;
Now our great Elijah offers
Double portion of His grace.
He hath raised our human nature
On the clouds to God's right hand:
There we sit in heavenly places,
There with Him in glory stand;
Jesus reigns, adored by angels:
Man with God is on the throne;
Mighty Lord, in Thine ascension
We by faith behold our own.
Wordsworth drew his inspiration from the Scriptures
and sought to interpret them for the benefit of the wor-
shiper. This is very evident in his Ascension hymn, which,
in addition to expressing poetically the Scripture story of
the Ascension, weaves in the teaching under Scripture
imagery, which to a marked degree adds richness and
beauty to the hymn.
A native of Nossen, in the Hartz region, produced a
number of German hymns, of which one, an Ascension
hymn, has been translated into English. We refer to
Friederich Funcke, who is the author of a hymn which is
very popular among Lutheran worshipers. It may be
AN ASCENSION PRAYER
Draw us to Thee, Lord Jesus,
And we will hasten on;
For strong desire doth seize us
To go where Thou art gone.
KYMNS OF THE ASCENSION iii
Draw us to Thee; enlighten
These hearts to find Thy way,
That else the tempests frighten,
Or pleasures lure astray.
Draw us to Thee; and teach us
Even now that rest to find,
Where turmoils cannot reach us,
Nor cares weigh down the mind.
Draw us to Thee; nor leave us
Till all our path is trod,
Then in Thine arms receive us,
And bear us home to God.
There are several variations of this hymn, which has
been also ascribed to several other authors. The real
author, Friederich Funcke, was a man of broad education
and especially talented as a musician. He was for some
years Stadt Cantor in Liineberg and later became pastor
at Romstedt, where he died in 1699. He was the editor
of a hymnal which contained no less than forty-three
melodies of his own composing.
Charles Wesley, the great Methodist hymn writer, has
written a ''Hymn for Ascension Day," which has come into
very general favor. When we take into consideration
the number of hymns w^hich Wesley has written it
is high praise to be told that this hymn stands as one
of the three hymns from his pen which have attained
widest popularity. The other tw^o are "Jesus, Lover of
My Soul" and "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!" Its
popularity and its merit make it a worthy conclusion
for this article.
112 FAVORITE HYMNS
Wesley's hymn on the ascension
Hail the day that sees Him rise,
To His throne above the skies;
Christ, awhile to mortals given,
Reascends His native heaven.
There for Him high triumph waits;
Lift your heads, eternal gates!
Wide unfold the radiant scene;
Take the King of glory in!
Lo! the heaven its Lord receives.
Yet He loves the earth He leaves;
Though returning to His throne,
Still He calls mankind His own.
See, He lifts His hands above!
See, He shows the prints of love!
Hark, His gracious lips bestow
Blessings on His Church below!
Still for us His death He pleads;
Prevalent He intercedes;
Near Himself prepares our place,
Harbinger of human race.
Lord, though parted from our sight,
Far above the starry height,
Grant our hearts may thither rise,
Following Thee above the skies.
There we shall with Thee remain.
Partners of Thy endless reign;
There Thy face unclouded see,
Find our heaven of heavens in Thee.
HYMNS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
'MNS which Uft the soul to God m worship,
at the same time by the power of their devotional
approach to God most effectively teach the things
which pertain to God. Many good Christians
have found truth, indelibly stamped it on their minds,
and have been gripped by spiritual impulses through some
verse of a beautiful hymn — a hymn which carries the gospel
theme beyond the theory, and, so to speak, grafts it into
the soul itself. It is this fact which renders vital to a
unified and effective service the complete harmonization
of the Scripture lessons and the hymn selections with the
theme of the day. Herein lies one of the chief beauties and
benefits which follow the arrangement of the church year.
By the systematic and logically arranged unfolding of the
gospel with the life of Christ and His works and teachings
as the guiding principle, unity and harmony, as well as
fulness of the presentation of truth are almost compelled.
Thus when the Pentecostal festival approaches, naturally
the work of the Holy Spirit is emphasized. Otherwise the
very nature of the Third Person of the Trinity and the
type of work which is done for man by the Holy Spirit
would result in an under-emphasis of that which is so im-
portant that Christ Himself told His disciples that it was
expedient for them that He should go away in order that
the Holy Spirit might come unto them.
The constant and necessary presence of the Holy Spirit
in the Church, a presence promised by the Saviour Him-
114 FAVORITE HYMNS
self, which promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost,
is often most efifectively impressed upon the minds of
Christian people through the use of the hymns of invoca-
tion of the Holy Spirit. An orderly service is most
properly opened with such a hymn.
One of Luther's great hymns is his "Komm Heiliger
Geist, Herre Gott." It is an amplification of an old
German version of a still older Latin hymn, the "Veni
Sancte Spiritus." This hymn as Luther wrote it, with its
old tune, was first published in German in 1524.
Luther's hymn to the holy spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord!
Be all Thy graces now outpoured
On the believer's mind and soul.
To strengthen, save, and make us whole.
Lord, by the brightness of Thy light,
Thou in the faith dost men unite
Of every land and every tongue;
This to Thy praise, O Lord, be sung.
Thou strong Defence, Thou holy Light,
Teach us to know our God aright.
And call Him Father from the heart;
, The word of life and truth impart;
That we may love not doctrines strange.
Nor e'er to other teachers range.
But Jesus for our Master own,
And put our trust in Him alone.
Thou sacred Ardor, Comfort sweet,
Help us to wait with ready feet
And willing heart at Thy command,
Nor trial fright us from Thy band.
HYMNS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT 11$
Lord, make us ready with Thy powers;
Strengthen the flesh in weaker hours,
That as good warriors we may force
Through Hfe and death to Thee our course!
This hymn, so rich in devotion and instruction, has an
abundant history of its own. We are told that it rapidly
came into great favor among the common people. An
evidence of this is the fact which the historian narrates,
namely, that in 1526, at the battle of Frankenhausen, in
the Peasants' War, a whole host of them stood immovable
singing this hymn. According to the story, the Land-
grave of Hesse gave the order to attack, but the peasants
remained unmoved, neither retreating nor defending them-
selves, but singing and waiting for the miraculous help of
God, which their leader, Thomas Mxinzer, had predicted.
As they sang about 50,000 of them were slain and the rest
were finally dispersed.
Another instance which illustrates the power which this
hymn soon secured over the minds and hearts of the people
occurred in August, 1527. It was August i6th that Leon-
ard Kayser was burned at the stake because of his evangel-
ical preaching, which fact stresses the heroism of the men
of the times of Luther, who preached and defended the
Reformation doctrines. As the preparations for Kayser's
martyrdom were completed he asked the people to sing
"Komm Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott." With deep emotion
they sang, and while the flames leaped up his own voice
was heard as he cried out, "Jesus, I am Thine; save
me." Repeating these words several times, he died.
It is told of a family in Silesia that in the midst of a
terrible storm in 1535 they sat singing this hymn and were
uninjured, while the roof of their home was blown from over
Il6 FAVORITE HYMNS
The wife of the celebrated Frederic Perthes, of Hamburg,
sent several stanzas of this hymn to her son, who was a
student at the university, as a birthday greeting. Most
appropriate it was, especially in those times. The third
and fourth stanzas were those which she sent. They would
not be amiss as a message to the university student of today.
This hymn of Luther's is most appropriate as the open-
ing hymn of invocation at public worship. It found place
in this position in the official jubilee celebration service,
which inaugurated the great quadricentennial jubilee of
the Protestant Reformation. With many ministers it is a
favorite, not only for use in public worship, but also in
private devotion. Not a few instances are told of the use
of this hymn or portions of it as the thought to sustain
the soul at the moment of its departure from the flesh.
There are a number of translations of this hymn, which
fact is an evidence of the wide appreciation of its value as a
devotional hymn and medium of instruction concerning
the person and work of the Holy Ghost. The translation
which we have given is that of Miss Winkworth, made in
Luther wrote another hymn of invocation of the Holy
Ghost, which was first published in Walther's hymn book
in 1524. The first verse of this hymn is credited to a
priest and poet of the twelfth century. Luther's hymn,
which was translated into Latin in 1550 and into Tamil for
use by that pioneer of Christian missions in India, Bar-
tholomew Ziegenbalg, in 1723, was once used under very
peculiar circumstances. The story is told in 'The Stories
of Evangelical Hymns," by Karl Heinrich. It was not
long after Luther had written and published it that
about eighty fishermen were fishing on the ice between
HYMNS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT 117
Copenhagen and the Island of Saltholm. The ice gave
way and precipitated them into the icy water. They
were carried along by the current and gradually became
separated, nearly thirty of them being drowned. While
they were still close together one of them, Hans Vensen,
called out to the others, ''Dear brethren, let us not fall
into despair because we shall lose our lives, but let us
prove by our conduct that we have been hearers of God's
word." They then sang "Nun bitten wir den Heilegen
Geist," and after it the hymn for the dying, Luther's
metrical version of Simeon's valedictory, the "Nunc Dim-
ittis" — "Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin."
Luther's "nun bitten wir den heilegen geist'*
Now pray we all God, the Comforter,
Into every heart true faith to pour,
And that He defend us, till death here end us,
When for heaven we leave this world of sorrow.
Have mercy, Lord.
Shine into us, O most holy Light,
That we Jesus may know aright;
Stayed on Him forever, our only Saviour,
Who to our true home again hath brought us.
Have mercy, Lord.
Spirit of love, now our spirits bless us;
Them with Thy own heavenly fire possess;
That in heart uniting, in peace delighting,
We may henceforth all be one in spirit.
Have mercy, Lord.
Heinrich Held of Gunrau, Silesia, is the author, and the
Rev. Dr. C. W. Schaefler, of Germantown, Philadelphia,
the translator into EngHsh of one of the most popular of
Ii8 FAVORITE HYMNS
the German hymns to the Holy Spirit. The author was
a lawyer, who endured many trials in the times of war in
which he lived. In this school of trial his soul was tem-
pered and attuned to sing and he became one of the best
of Silesian hymn writers. Only two of his hymns have been
translated into English. The one is his Advent hymn,
"Gott sei Dank durch alle Welt"; the other is "Komm
o komm, du Geist des Lebens." The latter is one of the
finest hymns of invocation to the Holy Spirit ever written.
Written in 1664, it was translated by the late Dr. C. W.
Schaefi'er in 1866. It is today in high favor in both Eng-
lish and German churches. While there are a number
of translations, none brings out the meaning better than
does the English version from the pen of Dr. Schaeffer.
DR. SCHAEFFER'S TRANSLATION OF HEINRICH HELD'S HYMN
Come, O come, Thou quickening Spirit,
Thou for ever art divine;
Let Thy power never fail me,
Always fill this heart of mine;
Thus shall grace, and truth, and light
Dissipate the gloom of night.
Grant my mind and my affections
Wisdom, counsel, purity;
That I may be ever seeking
Naught but that which pleases Thee.
Let Thy knowledge spread and grow,
Working error's overthrow.
Lead me to green pastures, lead me
By the true and living way.
Shield me from each strong temptation,
That might draw my heart astray;
And if e'er my feet should turn.
For each error let me mourn.
HYMNS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT 119
Holy Spirit, strong and mighty,
Thou who makest all things new,
Make Thy work within me perfect,
Help me by Thy word so true.
Arm me with that sword of Thine,
And the victory shall be mine.
In the faith, oh, make me steadfast;
Let not Satan, death, or shame
Of my confidence deprive me;
Lord, my refuge is Thy name.
When the flesh inclines to ill,
Let Thy word prove stronger still.
And when my last hour approaches.
Let my hopes grow yet more bright,
Since I am an heir of heaven.
In Thy glorious courts of Hght,
Fairer far than voice can tell.
There, redeemed by Christ, to dwell.
Another hymn invoking the comfort and help of the
Holy Spirit which was bom in domestic and personal
affliction and which is the only hymn of the author which
has passed into English, is Michael Schirmer's ^'O Heil'ger
Geist, kehr bei uns Ein." This hymn, which is called
"A Short Hymn for Whitsuntide," is a beautiful New
Testament paraphrase of Isaiah 11:2, "And the Spirit
of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and
understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit
of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord." The author,
who wrote poems in both German and Latin, was crowned
as a poet in 1 63 7 . D omestic and personal sorrows mellowed
his soul and gave character to his song. We quote the
first stanza of his hymn, but advise our readers to look up
and study the entire hymn.
I20 FAVORITE HYMNS
''O Holy Spirit, enter in,
Among these hearts Thy work begin,
Thy temple deign to make us;
Sun of the soul, Thou Light divine,
Around and in us brightly shine,
To strength and gladness wake us.
Where Thou shinest. Life from heaven
There is given. We before Thee
For that precious gift implore Thee."
A hymn of invocation of the Holy Spirit which has come
to us out of the period of the Thirty Years' War, and which
is from the pen of that prolific and sweet singer of Germany,
Paul Gerhardt, begins in German with the words, "Zeuch
ein zu deinen Thoren." The times under which it came
into being emphasize the fact that as affliction is "the
schoolmaster to bring men to Christ,'' so tribulation and
trial make men feel the need of the Comforter whom that
Saviour promised. As originally written and published
in Wakernagel's "Geistliche Lieder," this hymn contained
sixteen stanzas. We give the five stanzas herewith from
the translation made by Miss Winkworth, the most suc-
cessful and most prolific of English translators of Ger-
man hymns. The translation was made in 1862.
GERHARDT 'S WHITSUNTIDE HYMN
Oh, enter, Lord, Thy temple.
Be Thou my spirit's Guest,
Who at my birth didst give me
A second birth more blest.
Though here to dwell Thou deignest,
Thou in the Godhead, Lord,
For ever equal reignest.
Art equally adored.
HYMNS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT 121
Oh, enter, let me know Thee,
And feel Thy power within,
The power that breaks our fetters,
And rescues us from sin.
That I may serve Thee truly,
Oh, wash and cleanse Thou me,
To render honor duly
With perfect heart to Thee.
'Tis Thou, O Spirit, teachest
The soul to pray aright;
Thy songs have sweetest music,
Thy prayers have wondrous might.
They pierce the highest heaven,
Unheard they cannot fall,
Till He His help hath given
Who surely helpeth all.
The whole wide world, O Spirit,
Upon Thy hands doth rest;
Our wayward hearts Thou turnest
As it may seem Thee best.
As Thou hast done so often,
Once more Thy power make known.
Convert the wicked, soften
To tears the heart of stone.
Order our path in all things
According to Thy mind.
And when this life is over,
And all must be resigned,
With calm and fearless spirit
Oh, grant us then to die,
And after death inherit
Eternal life on high.
Ray Palmer's English rendition of the old "Veni Sanctus
Spiritus" of the early Latin Church is deservedly popular.
122 FAVORITE HYMNS
palmer's translation of the *'veni sanctus spiritus'*
"Come, Holy Ghost, in love
Shed on us from above
Thine own bright ray!
Divinely good Thou art;
Thy sacred gifts impart
To gladden each sad heart:
Oh, come today!
Come, tenderest Friend, and best,
Our most delightful Guest,
With soothing power;
Rest, which the weary know.
Shade, 'mid the noontide glow,
Peace, when deep griefs o'erflow —
Cheer us, this hour!
"Come, Light serene, and still
Our inmost bosoms fill;
Dwell in each breast;
We know no dawn but Thine;
Send forth Thy beams divine,
On our dark souls to shine,
And make us blest!
"Exalt our low desires;
Extinguish passion's fires;
Heal every wound;
Our stubborn spirits bend;
Our icy coldness end;
Our devious steps attend,
While heavenward bound.
"Come, all the faithful bless;
Let all, who Christ confess.
His praise employ;
Give virtue's rich reward;
Victorious death accord.
And with our glorious Lord,
HYMNS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT 123
There are various translations of the old Latin *'Veni,
Sanctus Spiritus," of which the above is one of the niost
beautiful and popular. The original authorship of this
hymn, which has been of increasing use and appreciation
in the Church for ten centuries, is somewhat in doubt.
Hezekiah Butterworth, a very reliable authority, as-
cribes it to ''Robert the Devout," who succeeded his father
on the throne of France about 997. His life and character
at least reflect the spirit of the hymn. The opposition of
his sons in his last years added to political agitations
brought great sorrow and much trouble upon him. Robert
was learned, as well as musically and spiritually minded.
He was unselfishly devoted to the Church. He himself
served as the chorister in the old St. Denis Church. He
would stand in his royal robes and wearing his crown
upon his head, direct the choir at matins and vespers, and
would himself join heartily in the singing. If this old
hymn is his legacy to the Church, as Butterworth says it
is, after nearly a thousand years through his hymn he still
has an influence in the world.
THE VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS OF THE TENTH CENTURY
Another old hymn of the early Latin Church which has
been widely used and is furnished in a number of transla-
tions is the "Veni Creator Spiritus," which is ascribed to
TRANSLATION OF A TENTH CENTURY HYMN
"Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire;
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost Thy sevenfold gifts impart.
124 FAVORITE HYMNS
^'Thy blessed unction from above,
Is comfort, life, and fire of love.
Enable with perpetual light
The dullness of our blinded sight.
"Anoint our heart and cheer our face
With the abundance of Thy grace.
Keep far our foes; give peace at home;
Where Thou art Guide, no ill can come.
"Teach us to know the Father, Son,
And Thee, of both, to be but One;
That through the ages all along.
Thy praise may be our endless song!"
For ten centuries this hymn has been in constant use in
the Church. It has been ascribed to Charlemagne, St.
Ambrose and Gregory the Great. Ekkehard, the monk
of St. Gall, says that the groaning of a water wheel, whose
supply of water was running short, suggested to Notker,
who was lying awake in a nearby dormitory, the possibility
of setting the moaning of the old wheel to music. He was
so successful in his effort that the music of the original of
this hymn was the result. This he sent to Charlemagne,
who was thus led to compose the words. A strange legend,
indeed, of the origin of a hymn the authorship of which is
historically uncertain, but the use of which is almost
As to the use of this hymn it is worthy of mention that
for several centuries it has been used at the consecration
of Anglican bishops. It is generally used at the ordination
of Lutheran ministers in America. The Latin version of
it is appointed for use at the consecration of a p)ope, the
election of a Roman bishop, at the coronation of kings, as
HYMNS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT 125
also at that service so strange to evangelical Christians,
namely, the elevation and translation of saints.
The Latin version differs very slightly, chiefly in the order
of words, from the original version and from that which is
commonly in use among us. Its general and wide use
throughout the Church and in the functions just referred
to would seem to be an illustration of the underlying unity
of 'The Christian Church," which we confess to be "The
Communion of Saints."
HYMNS TO THE HOLY TRINITY
ISHOP HEBER, who is the author of a few more
than fifty hymns, has written the hymn which is
undoubtedly the most majestic hymn of praise
of the Holy Trinity that has ever been written.
BISHOP HEBER 'S HYMN TO THE TRINITY
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in Three Persons, Blessed Trinity!
Holy, Holy, Holy! all the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea.
Cherubim and Seraphim, falling down before Thee;
Which wert, and art, and evermore shall be.
Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see.
Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
AU Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in Three Persons, Blessed Trinity!
This hymn, probably suggested by the Te Deum, is, in
reality, a splendid metrical paraphrase of Rev, 4 :8-ii.
An eminent English educator and literary critic said of
this hymn, "in my judgment, considering the abstract,
HYMNS TO THE HOLY TRINITY 127
difficult nature of its theme, its perfect spirituality and the
devotion and purity of its language, it is the finest hymn
Grand as the hymn is, it did not attain its full grandeur
of sentiment and sound until it was inseparably linked
with Dr. John B. Dyke's tune, ^'Nicaea." The name may
mean nothing to our readers, but if so, look up the hymn
and the tune and sing it. We have here another illustra-
tion of the beauty and the power that go with a hymn
sung to its proper tune. To divorce a hymn from its own
tune, which is historic and harmonious with the meaning
of the words, is to rob worship of one of the greatest of
A PRAYER TO THE TRINITY
Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us
O'er the world's tempestuous sea;
Guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us.
For we have no help but Thee;
Yet possessing every blessing,
If our God our Father be.
Saviour, breathe forgiveness o'er us;
All our weakness Thou dost know;
Thou didst tread this earth before us,
Thou didst feel its keenest woe;
Lone and dreary, faint and weary,
Through the desert Thou didst go.
Spirit of our God, descending,
Fill our hearts with heavenly joy;
Love with every passion blending.
Pleasure that can never cloy;
Thus provided, pardoned, guided.
Nothing can our peace destroy.
This hymn is one of the two best known hymns of James
128 FAVORITE HYMNS
Edmeston, who wrote nearly 2000 hymns. The other
widely known product of his pen is, * 'Saviour, breathe an
The author was an architect and surveyor by profession.
He was active in church work, serving for a number of
years as a church warden. He specialized in children's
hymns, the simplicity of his language making the hymns
he wrote peculiarly adapted to the use of children.
Man's need of each Person of the Trinity and the special
work of the Three Persons of the Godhead are most beauti-
fully set forth in the three stanzas of this prayer to the
A HYMN TO THE TRINITY
Come, Thou almighty King,
Help us Thy name to sing,
Help us to praise!
Father all glorious,
O'er all victorious,
Come and reign over us,
Ancient of days.
Jesus, our Lord, descend;
From all our foes defend,
Nor let us fall;
Let Thine almightly aid.
Our sure defence be made;
Our souls on Thee be stayed;
Lord, hear our call!
Come, Thou incarnate Word,
Gird on Thy mighty sword,
Our prayer attend;
Come, and Thy people bless,
And give Thy word success;
Spirit of holiness.
On us descend.
HYMNS TO THE HOLY TRINITY 129
Come, holy Comforter,
Thy sacred witness bear
In this glad hour;
Thou who almighty art,
Now rule in every heart,
And ne'er from us depart,
Spirit of power!
To the great One in Three
Eternal praises be.
His sovereign Majesty
May we in glory see,
And to eternity
Love and adore.
WTio can sing this wonderful invocation of the Holy
Trinity and not be impressed by the fact that God in His
person and work is one Triune God? Beautiful as the
hymn is, it is to be regretted that we cannot positively
identify the author and give him credit for the blessing
which his words are to believers. The hymn w^as first
published in a tract, of w^hich neither the date nor author-
ship can be determined. From this tract it soon was
republished with the "Whitfield Collection" of hymns, and
thus found its way into the various hymnals of the church.
It is interesting to note that the national song of England,
**God Save the King," was written and published in 1745,
and that this hymn, wTitten to be sung to the same tune,
appeared about nineteen years later. We sing it, however,
as many prefer in this country, to the tune know^n as
' 'Italian Hymn." A Rev. Spencer Madan issued it, but
made no claim to its authorship. Some credit the words
to Charles Wesley on the strength of internal evidence,
but as the Wesleyan authorities argue against the crediting
I30 FAVORITE HYMNS
of the authorship to Wesley we shall have to continue to
love and use it without giving credit to any author.
Wesley's hymn to the trinity
Charles Wesley, however, has not left us in doubt as to
his view of the Trinity, for there have come down to us
two hymns to the Trinity which are in great favor and wide
use, his authorship of which is fully attested. As an ex-
pression of our faith in the Triune God, what could be more
expressive than the following lines?
Wesley's trinity hymns
"Hail! holy, holy, holy Lord,
Whom One in Three we know;
By all Thy heavenly hosts adored,
By all Thy Church below.
"One undivided Trinity
With triumph we proclaim;
Thy universe is full of Thee,
And speaks Thy glorious name.
"Thee, holy Father, we confess;
Thee, holy Son, adore;
And Thee, the Holy Ghost, we bless,
And worship evermore.
"Hail! holy, holy, holy Lord,
Our heavenly song shall be;
Supreme, essential One, adored
In co-eternal Three!"
His other hymn, which is a recognition of the Trinity,
but somewhat more subjective in character and takes
rather the form of an address to God, will at once be recalled
by our quoting the opening stanza:
HYMNS TO THE HOLY TRINITY 131
"Hail, Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
One God in Persons Three;
Of Thee we make our joyful boast,
Our songs we make of Thee."
There comes down to us from the time of the Reforma-
tion a remarkably expressive hymn through which the
worshiper looks to the Triune God. We refer to that
Trinity hymn by Nikolaus Decius. His German name was
Von Hofe. The author, like Luther, was first a monk in
the Roman Church. He had been prior of a monastery
at Stetterburg, in Wolfenbiittel, but renounced the Roman
faith and espoused the cause of the Protestants. At first
he was a schoolmaster, but was later a Lutheran pastor
at Stettin, where he died. He is widely and favorably
known on account of the beautiful evangelical hymns
which he composed, the most celebrated of which is his
"allein gott in der hoh', sei ehr"
All glory be to God on high,
Who hath our race befriended!
To us no harm shall now come nigh,
The strife at last is ended;
God showeth His good will to men,
And peace shall reign on earth again;
Oh, thank Him for His goodness.
We praise, we worship Thee, we trust,
And give Thee thanks forever,
O Father, that Thy rule is just,
And wise, and changes never;
Thy boundless power o'er all things reigns,
Thou dost whate'er Thy will ordains;
Well for us that Thou rulest!
132 FAVORITE HYMNS
O Jesus Christ, our God and Lord,
Son of Thy heavenly Father,
Oh, Thou who hast our peace restored
And tjie lost sheep dost gather.
Thou Lamb of God, to Thee on high
From out our depths we sinners cry,
Have mercy on us, Jesus!
O Holy Ghost, Thou precious Gift,
Thou Comforter unfailing.
O'er Satan's snares our souls uplift,
And let Thy power availing.
Avert our woes and calm our dread;
For us the Saviour's blood was shed;
We trust in Thee to save us!
This hymn is said to be a free rendering of the ''Gloria in
Excelsis." It was designed to take the place of the Latin
chant in public worship. Knowing this fact will increase
our personal appreciation of the hymn. It is in very
general use throughout Germany. The dying Christian
has often made it his parting song of triumph. Mendels-
sohn has introduced into his ''St. Paul" the chorale, which
by some is attributed to Decius. The proper tune for
"All Glory be to God on High" is Decius' own melody.
Like Luther, he was quite musical and set his own hymns
to appropriate music. Through his hymns, which soon
became very popular, he was a valuable aid in the "Sixteenth
Century Reformation," the complete success of which was
undoubtedly hastened by the strong evangelical hymns
which the reformers wrote and taught the people to sing.
Among the beautiful hymns from the pen of Horatius
Bonar, a minister of the Free Church of Scotland, there is
one which as a "Child's Prayer" to the Trinity is especially
HYMNS TO THE HOLY TRINITY 133
beautiful and expressive. It is in four stanzas, the first
of which reads as follows:
"Holy Father, hear my cry;
Holy Saviour, bend Thine ear;
Holy Spirit, come Thou nigh;
Father, Saviour, Spirit, hear."
Christopher Wordsworth, a prolific English writer and
theologian, in his "Holy Year," published, in 1862, a
hymn of adoration of the Trinity, w^hich has found a
permanent place in evangelical hymnody. The original
hymn contained eight stanzas. We quote only the first
"Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of hosts, Eternal King,
By the heavens and earth adored!
Angels and archangels sing,
To the blessed Trinity."
As an appropriate ending to this story of hymns to the
Trinity nothing could be found more appropriate than
John Newton's paraphrase of the New Testament Benedic-
tion, 2 Corinthians 13 : 14. As a short hymn for the close
of worship it is very popular. It is in use in all English-
speaking countries, and has been translated into several
languages. It is one of the few English hymns which have
been translated into the Latin, the Latin version being of
not infrequent use.
Newton's versified benediction
May the grace of Christ our Saviour,
And the Father's boundless love,
With the Holy Spirit's favor,
Rest upon us from above.
134 FAVORITE HYMNS
Thus may we abide in union
With each other and the Lord;
And possess, in sweet communion,
Joys which earth cannot afford.
The doctrine and worship of the Holy Trinity, as set
forth in song by these writers of favorite hymns, is positive
and clear. A pastor, after the singing by his Sunday
school of Bishop Heber's beautiful hymn, tested his school
by questioning them concerning the message of the hymn.
He found that the children had not only worshiped God,
they had learned to know Him through that wonderful
hymn, which was full of meaning even to the younger
children. The value of the hymn as an educational
medium as well as an act of worship was fully proved.
This fact is worthy of consideration as we select and
use hymns in our worship. A pleasing melody should not
determine the use of a hymn. The sense as well as the
sound must be considered. Hymns are a part of iastruction
as well as of devotion. We cannot use the hymns the
story of which we have just told without securing a new
and a firm hold on the great mystery and vital doctrine
of the Holy Trinity.
HYMNS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Y?< YMNS have helped many Christians over the hard
X-J. places in life. As music spurs the soldier to battle,
W&d so also it inspires the Christian to spiritual hero-
ism. The trials and temptations of life have
tuned many a Christian poet's lyre. Thus out of the
personal experience of the poets of the Church have come
hymns which are most helpful in lifting us up and carrying
us over the rough and hard places in the Christian path-
Of hymns of this type, one which is at once a guide and
an inspiration is that widely knowTi and loved hymn of
Count Zinzendorf, which in English begins, * 'Jesus, still
"jESU, GEH VORAN"
Jesus, still lead on,
Till our Rest be won!
And although the way be cheerless,
We will follow, calm and fearless.
Guide us by Thy hand
To our Fatherland !
If the way be drear,
If the foe be near.
Let not faithless fears o'ertake us,
Let not faith and hope forsake us;
For through many a foe
To our home we go!
136 FAVORITE HYMNS
When we seek relief
From a long-felt grief;
When temptations come alluring,
Make us patient and enduring:
Show us that bright shore
Where we weep no more!
Jesus, still lead on,
Till our Rest be won;
Heavenly Leader, still direct us,
Still support, console, protect us.
Till we safely stand
In our Fatherland!
This hymn, written in 1721 by Nikolas Ludwig, Count
Zinzendorf, is in extensive use both in German and in
English. It has become a great favorite and is especially
popular as a hymn for children.
The author, Count Zinzendorf, was born at Dresden,
May 26, 1700. He secured his education at Halle and
Wittenberg. As a young man he was very serious and
deeply religious. Possessed of large estates, he by force
of his nature, sympathized with the persecuted Moravians
and shielded and domiciled many of them on his estate.
He later united with the Brethren's Church, founded the
settlement of Herrnhut as a refuge, and ultimately became
a Moravian minister and bishop.
It is said of Zinzendorf that his consecration to the
religious life was simultaneous with his study of the ''Ecce
Homo" in the Dusseldorf Gallery. This, as our readers
know, is a wonderful painting of Jesus wearing the crown
of thorns. It is said that as Zinzendorf looked at this pic-
ture, noting the sad face and blood-red drops and read
the superscription, *'This have I done for thee; \vhat hast
thou done for me?" he instantly took as the motto
HYMNS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE 137
of his life, "I have but one passion, and that is He and only
He." It is only another way of saying as Paul the apostle
said, 'Tor me to live is Christ."
Zinzendorf wrote his first hymn when he was only twelve
years old. He wrote his last one in 1760. Between these
dates he wrote more than two thousand hymns. Few,
however, have lived. His best hymns were among his
earlier productions. In Europe, perhaps, his most widely
used hymn is "Jesu, geh voran," a hymn which is well and
favorably knowTi in English in Miss Borthwick's transla-
tion as given above.
John Wesley has translated for us another well known
and widely used hymn by Zinzendorf, which, being a
hymn of faith and justification, the foundation principles
of the true Christian life, is a most valuable contribution
to evangehcal hymnody. This hynm was written in 1739.
Wesley's translation of zinzentdorf's hymn
Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
'Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully through these absolved I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
This spotless robe the same appears,
When ruined nature sinks in years;
No age can change its constant hue;
Thy Blood preserves it ever new.
138 FAVORITE HYMNS
Oh, let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice!
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness!
When from the dust of death I rise,
To claim my mansion in the skies,
Even then this shall be all my plea,
''Jesus hath lived and died for me."
A hymn which is a prayer for guidance in the Christian
life which claims two men by the name of Williams as its
author comes to us from the musical Welsh people. We
refer to the hymn, ''Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah."
The hymn was originally written in Welsh by the Rev.
William Williams in 1745. His fellow-countryman, the
Rev. Peter Williams, translated the hymn into English,
making many alterations and substitutions in the second
and third verses. Thus only the first stanza belongs in-
disputably to the original Williams; but as the Rev.
William Williams is said to have been consulted and to
have approved the alterations made by the Rev. Peter
Williams, the authorship is rightly considered as a mutual
work of the two Welsh clergymen.
A WELSH HYMN WITH TWO AUTHORS
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty,
Hold me with Thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more!
HYMNS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE 139
Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing streams do flow;
Let the fiery, cloudy pillar,
Lead me all my journey through:
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield!
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside:
Death of death and hell's Destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan's side:
Songs of praises
I will ever give to Thee.
Among modern hymns praying for guidance one of the
most popular is Cardinal Newma,n's 'Tead Kindly Light."
It is particularly popular with those who have not publicly
accepted the leadership of theological authority. While it
is a hymn which may induce to resignation, it scarcely
leads on to victory. A leading authority on hymns in the
Methodist Church says of it, "I have not found it a help-
ful hymn for dehverance or a strengthening hymn in
distress and conflict."
We will appreciate this criticism when we know that
Dr. Benson, the great American authority on hymnology,
says of Newman, ''He was an imaginative boy, and so
superstitious that he used constantly to cross himself
when going into the dark." This habit of the author's
mind is reflected in the lines of the hymn which is a re-
flection of his religious musings.
An Episcopal clergyman, during the agitations over the
High Church movement, through the influence of a Roman-
ist friend by the name of Froude, Newman's Protestant
faith gradually weakened. In his unrest he traveled to
the Mediterranean coast, and while on the way to Marseilles
I40 FAVORITE HYMNS
he wrote this hymn. It was just shortly before he entered
the Roman Catholic Church, where be became a cardinal.
William T. Stead well says: *'It is somewhat hard for
the stanch Protestant to wax enthusiastic over the invoca-
tion of a 'Kindly Light,' which led the author straight into
the arms of the Scarlet Woman of the Seven Hills."
We fancy that the author was correct when he said, ''It
was not the hymn, but the tune that has gained the popular-
ity." Dr. Dykes wrote the tune and he is a master.
As the result of a meditation on the Twenty-third
Psalm while a young minister preaching in Philadelphia,
Professor Gilmore wrote a hymn which expresses much
more confidently personal faith in divine guidance. He
wrote the verses after a week-day evening talk, and handed
them to his wife. She without his knowledge sent the
lines to The Baptist Watchman and Reflector for publication.
It was a number of years later that in leafing through
a hymnal in the Second Baptist Church in Rochester, N. Y.,
he was surprised to discover this hymn, credited to himself
and appearing as a hymn of the church. It has since
found its way into a number of the newer American hymn
PROFESSOR GILMORE's "hE LEADETH ME"
He leadeth me! O blessed thought!
Oh, words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be,
StUl 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me! He leadeth me!
By His own hand He leadeth me!
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
HYMNS OF THE CHRISTL\N LIFE 141
Sometimes 'mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden's bowers bloom,
By waters calm, o'er troubled sea,
Still 'tis His hand that leadeth me.
I^ord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see.
Since 'tis my God that leadeth me.
And when my task on earth is done,
When, by Thy grace, the victory's won,
E'en death's cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
A hymn which is a great favorite and which is finding
its way into many collections is a hymn written by a
woman. Keeping before the Christian the nearness of
the heavenly goal as it does, its musical message should
strengthen faith, perfect consecration and quicken zeal in
all who sing it. We refer to that hymn by Phoebe Carey,
which, according to her ow^n statement, she wTote on a
Sunday morning in 1852 on her return home from
The influence of a hymn on the life of a person is beauti-
fully illustrated by a story which is brought to us out of
China. A young man, just entering life, was in an opium
den in China. He was gambling with an American. The
gambler, while he showed e\'idence that he had once been
a man of culture, had a hard and bitter face. The young
man leaned back in his chair and waited for the gambler
to shuffle the cards. Unconsciously he began to hum to
himself Phoebe Carey's hymn.
As he hummed he suddenly became conscious that the
gambler had dropped the cards and was staring at him with
142 FAVORITE HYMNS
wild, haggard eyes. With white lips he exclaimed, ''Why-
do you sing that song? Why do you dare sing that
The young man started. With a mental effort he re-
called what he had been unconsciously singing, and stam-
mered, "My — why, mother and the girls sing that at home,
and it was just running through my head."
The gambler sat silent for a few minutes, then he tore
up and threw away the cards, saying to the young man
with whom he had been playing, ''Years ago I had a
beautiful home in New York — a lovely wife and a wee girl,
the idol of her heart and mine. My wife sang wonderfully,
and each evening she used to sing that song you were just
now humming. When our little girl was too small to
talk she used to jump up and down in my arms and try
to hum the air when her mother sang the words. Then,
just as she was old enough to really sing it with her mother,
she died. They sang 'her song,' as she called it, at her
funeral. A few months later my wife died, and again
'her song' was sung. I sold my home and became a
wanderer, a trickster, a gambler. I intended to fleece
you out of every penny you had. Now go; I am done
Some years later a handsome man called on Miss Carey
and told her of how the humming of this hymn had
prevented him from becoming a gambler in China. The
older man wrote a letter to the Rev. Dr. Russell H. Con-
well and told the same story, and that through the humming
of this hymn he had been led to renounce the life of a
gambler and become a hardworking Christian, who had,
by the help of God, been able to rehabilitate himself in
the world of respectable and honorable people.
How carefully we should choose and how thought-
m^MXS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE 143
fully we should use the hymns which may have such power
for good in the lives of Christian people!
PHGEBE Carey's hymn of devotion
One sweetly solemn thought
Comes to me o'er and o'er:
I am nearer my home today
Than e'er I've been before:
Nearer my Father's house,
Where many mansions be,
Nearer the throne where Jesus reigns,
Nearer the crystal sea.
Nearer the bound of life
Where burdens are laid down,
Nearer lea\-ing the cross of grief,
Nearer gaining the crown.
But l>ing dark between,
And winding through the night.
Flows on the deep and unknown stream,
That leads me to the light.
Jesus, perfect my trust,
Strengthen my hand of faith,
And be Thou near me when I stand
Upon the shore of death.
HYMNS OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE
USIC inspires the soldier and encourages him as he
goes to battle. Evangelists are very particular
in selecting the hymns which are to be sung,
especially those which lead up to and which follow
their sermons. The psychological effect of wisely chosen
music is marked. Herein, Hes the value of music as an
incentive to Christian service. Assuming, of course, that
words and music are in harmony, the hymn is a most potent
factor in the development of Christian efficiency. Recog-
nizing this principle and realizing the natural effect of
proper hymns, there is every reason to make the most
careful choice of the hymns we use. This is especially
the case when we are endeavoring to lead Christians to
render greater and better Christian service.
One of the first hymns of this type of which we think is
Charles Wesley's hymn, ^*A charge to keep I have."
The occasion of its writing is not recorded. It was written
in 1762 and is in very general use in the hymn books of the
Wesley's hymn of service
A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify;
A never-dying soul to save.
And fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill;
O may it all my powers engage
To do my Master's will!
HYMNS OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE 145
Arm me with zealous care,
As in Thy sight to live;
And O, Thy servant, Lord, prepare,
A strict account to give!
Help me to watch and pray,
And on Thyself rely,
Assured, if I my trust betray,
I shall for ever die.
Among the hymns by Philip Doddridge which have at-
tained widest popularity is one which is pre-eminently a
hymn of Christian ser\'ice. We refer to his hymn begin-
ning, "Ye servants of the Lord." It was not published
until after his death, appearing first in a posthumous
edition of his hymns published by J. Orton. It was
given the title, "The Active Christian." The hymn,
which is in wddest use, is, as a rule, published as originally
written by Dr. Doddridge, an evidence of its poetic merit
and hymnological value. Its thoughtful use cannot fail
to encourage Christian activity.
Doddridge's "the active christian"
Ye servants of the Lord,
Each in his office wait
Observant of His heavenly word.
And watchful at His gate.
Let all your lamps be bright,
And trim the golden flame;
Gird up your loins, as in His sight.
For awful is His Name.
Watch! 'tis your Lord's command;
And while we speak, He's near.
Mark the first signal of His hand,
And ready all appear.
146 FAVORITE HYMNS
O happy servant he,
In such a posture found!
He shall His Lord with rapture see,
And be with honor crowned.
A hymn which is quite useful and suggestive, the first
stanza of which is very frequently, in violation of correct
liturgical usage, sung as the offerings are being placed upon
the altar, has come to us from the pen of William Walsham
how's hymn of service
We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate'er the gift may be:
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.
May we Thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive.
And gladly, as Thou blessest us.
To Thee our first fruits give.
O hearts are bruised and dead.
And homes are bare and cold.
And lambs, for whom the Shepherd bled,
Are straying from the fold!
To comfort and to bless,
To find a balm for woe,
To tend the lone and fatherless,
Is angels' work below.
The captive to release,
The lost to God to bring,
To teach the way of life and peace —
It is a Christ-like thing.
And we believe Thy word,
Though dim our faith may be;
Whate'er we do for Thine, O Lord,
We do it unto Thee.
HYMNS OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE 147
This is one of Bishop How's best known hymns. A critic
in speaking of it has said it is a hymn which has attained
foremost rank because it is such a simple, unadorned and
enthusiastically practical hymn. Looked at from this
point of view we will quickly note its merit and learn to
use it that we may catch and spread the spirit of service
which it breathes.
Perhaps one of the hymns which in respect to compre-
hensiveness of service excels all others has come from the
pen of a woman who has added some valuable contributions
to English Evangelical hymnody. We refer to Frances
Ridley Havergal, who in 1874 wrote the hymn to which
we refer. It is a hymn which might aptly be styled
"a hymn of complete consecration' '
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Fill'd with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
148 FAVORITE HYMNS
Take my will and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord I pour
At Thy feet its treasured store;
Take myself, and I will be,
Ever, only, all for Thee.
This is a characteristic hymn from the pen of Miss
Havergal, who has sometimes been called "The Theodocia
of the 19th Century." She was the daughter of a Church
of England clergyman, born at Astley, Worcestershire,
England, December 14, 1836. The type of her hymns is
interesting and is by some accredited to an incident of
her girlhood. When quite a young girl she visited the art
gallery of Dusseldorf, Prussia, where she was attending
school. She saw and was deeply impressed by the great
picture of the head of Christ, the "Ecce Homo." The
sight of this picture affected her much as it did Count
Zinzendorf , and apparently had much to do with the early
experience of this gifted girl, and, in fact, it evidently in-
fluenced her entire life. One of the immediate results of
her viewing the picture is one of her earliest hymns, which
inspired by the "Ecce Homo," flowed from her heart and
pen. Here is the verse —
'T gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed,
That thou might 'st ransomed be
And quickened from the dead.
I gave My life for thee:
What hast thou given for Me?"
HYMXS OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE 149
If the viewing of a picture could thus mould a life and
move a pen to write so beautifully and with such perfect
consecration, is it not important that we should care-
fully choose the pictures we \iew and the hymns we sing?
Church art as w^ell as evangelical hymnody are worthy
of more thoughtful study than is ordinarily accorded
OAYBREAK and sunrise are inspiring. Morning
with its beauties, its blessings and its privilesres
k^mM should make any observing person think of God
and inspire him to worship. This was the case
with a German nobleman, Friederich Rudolph von Canitz,
a legal counselor at Berlin, who was a genius and a man
distinguished for worldly success and for Christian holiness.
It is said of him that on the last morning of his life, as
day was breaking, he requested that he be drawn to the
window of his sick-chamber that he might look once more
upon the rising sun. After looking steadily at it for a time,
he exclaimed, "Oh, if the appearance of this earthly thing
is so beautiful and quickening, how much more shall I be
enraptured at the sight of the unspeakable glory of the
Creator Himself!" That was the feeling of a man whose
sense of earthly beauty had all the keenness of a poet's
enthusiasm, and who, in his greatest health and vigor,
preserved the consciousness that his life was hid with
Christ in God. Is there any wonder that out of this
deeply pious heart and this poetic mind of a soul that
loved nature and let it teach of the God whom he loved
supremely there should have been born a hymn which is at
once a call to service, a prayer for guidance and blessing
and a hymn of praise to the divine Creator, a real doxology
to the Triune God? All this we find in von Canitz*
MORNING HYMNS 151
SEELE DU MUSST MUNTER WERDEN
Come, my soul, thou must be waking;
Now is breaking
O'er the earth another day;
Come to Him who made the splendor,
See thou render
All thy feeble strength can pay.
Gladly hail the sun returning;
Be the incense of thy powers;
For the night is safely ended;
God hath tended
With His care thy helpless hours.
Pray that He may prosper ever
When the aim is good and true;
But that He may ever thwart thee,
And convert thee.
When thou evU wouldst pursue.
Only God's free gift abuse not,
Light refuse not,
But His Spirit's voice obey;
Thou \\ith Him shalt dwell, beholding
All things in unclouded day.
Glory, honor, exaltation,
Be to the Eternal One;
To the Father, Son and Spirit,
Laud and merit,
While unending ages run.
In the translation which we have given above this hymn
was published in England in 1838. It has been growing in
152 FAVORITE HYMNS
favor ever since. This is very natural when we note
the devout trust and deep piety which are so beautifully
expressed in the hymn which von Canitz wrote as the
deep feeling of a soul that loved God's mornings.
Another most expressive morning hymn which has come
to us out of the rich storehouse of German hymnody is the
MORGENGLANZ DER EWIGKEIT
Jesus, Sun of Righteousness,
Brightest beam of love divine,
With the early morning rays
Do Thou on our darkness shine,
And dispel with purest light
All our long and gloomy night!
Like the sun's reviving ray,
May Thy love, with tender glow,
All our coldness melt away,
Warm and cheer us forth to go,
Gladly serve Thee and obey
All our life's short earthly day!
Thou our only Hope and Guide!
Never leave us nor forsake;
In Thy light may we abide
Till the endless morning break;
Moving on to Zion's hill,
Onward, upward, homeward still!
Lead us all our days and years
In Thy strait and narrow way;
Lead us through the vale of tears
To the land of perfect day,
Where Thy people, fully blest.
Near Thy throne for ever rest.
Possibly due to the peculiarity of the meter, this hymn
MORNING HYMNS 153
is not as widely used as its merit would warrant us to
expect. Yet there have been more than a dozen transla-
tions of it published, and when it is once learned it is
always loved. This is natural, for it is so simple and trust-
ful, prayerful and hopeful that it cannot fail to appeal
The author of this hymn. Christian Knorr von Rosen-
roth, graduated at both Leipzig and Wittenberg Univer-
sities. He traveled extensively, and through an acquain-
tance with an Armenian prince became interested in
oriental languages. He was also an eminent scientist.
But learning did not prevent the development of his native
German piety, which found expression in about seventy
hymns, which were pronounced "truly pious and spiritual."
Knorr 's morning hymn first appeared in 1684. The
translation which we have given above is a free translation
from the original, made by Miss Jane Borthwick in 1853.
It might be noted in this connection that Miss Borth-
wick, who was born at Edinburg, Scotland, April 9, 18 13,
has served the English-speaking Church well by her
translation of "German Hymns from the Land of Luther."
Her book of translations has gone through a number of
editions. It contains relatively a large proportion of
hymns for the Christian life and reflects that wholesome
type of piety which is characteristically German.
A morning hymn which is given first place in the estimate
of the great majority of people, and rightly so, is Bishop
Ken's morning hymn. Written in 1695 ^^^ rewritten
in 1709 with certain variations, the original hymn has
fourteen stanzas. On account of its length it is sometimes
divided, and in many hymnals only selected verses are
taken. There are few books today in which it is not found.
154 FAVORITE HYMNS
The last stanza, which is familiarly called the Long Meter
doxology, is the most widely used short hymn in the world.
BISHOP KEN S MORNING HYMN
Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.
Wake and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.
All praise to Thee, who safe hast kept.
And hast refreshed me while I slept;
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake,
I may of endless life partake!
Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew;
Guard my first springs of thought and will.
And with Thyself my spirit fill.
Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say;
That all my powers, with all their might.
In Thy sole glory may unite.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The author of this hymn led a troubled and eventful
life. He lived during the reign of King Charles II of
England. As those who know history well know Charles
MORNING HYMNS 155
II had little interest in hymns or in anything religious.
He was a dissipated man. It is told by his biographers that
Bishop Ken was not afraid of the king and that he again
and again courageously reproved him. The king was
not annoyed by the plainness of speech of the bishop,
whom he proverbially called "the good little man." At
chapel time he was in the habit of saying, ''I must go in
and hear Ken tell me of my faults."
Bishop Ken's courage in denouncing immorality is seen
in his refusal to admit Nell Gw^nine to his house at the
command of King Charles, who so admired his courage
that instead of punishing him he appointed him Bishop of
Bath and Wells. But he did not always fare so well. He
was one of the seven bishops who were imprisoned under
James the Papist for his opposition to the king's religion.
He w^as deprived of his bishopric by William III and spent
his remaining days living quietly in a house loaned to him
by a friend. He was seventy-four years old when he
died. At his owa request "six of the poorest men in the
parish carried him to his grave."
It will give a new interest and a deeper meaning to
Bishop Ken's morning hymn for us to know that he used
to sing it to his own accompaniment on the lute every
morning, and that when he died at his request he was
buried under the east window of the chancel of Frome
Church, the services being held at sunrise. His mourning
friends sang, in the first light of the dawning day,
"Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run."
To Bishop Ken, whose character, Macauly says, ap-
proached as nearly as human infirmity permits to the ideal
perfection of Christian virtue, the passing from earth was
156 FAVORITE HYMNS
the entrance into larger life and fuller service. Hence
the appropriateness of singing his daily morning hymn
prayer at his funeral as suggestive not only of the bishop's
future life, but as an incentive to their own closer and more
The morning and evening hymns of Bishop Ken first
appeared in a manual of prayers for the use of the students
of Winchester College. They were accompanied with
an injunction from the writer that they should be sung
devoutly by the scholars in their chambers morning and
evening. A heeding of this injunction of the singing
preacher of a former generation would quicken spiritual
life by developing a stronger and more intense personal
religion. Too many are contented with a pew edition of
the hymns which are sung in the sanctuary, and forget
that a book of worship is a manual which may be most use-
ful in private worship. With this thought in mind we will,
as we repeat the selected verses of this old hymn, see how
personal it is and how it individualizes our communion
There is a most beautiful morning hymn for the Httle
ones which was written by a Methodist clergyman, the
Rev. Dr. Thomas Osmond Summers. The language, the
rhythm, as well as the tune to which it is ordinarily sung,
make this hymn peculiarly a hymn for the little folks.
THE LITTLE FOLKS ' MORNING HYMN
The morning bright,
With rosy light,
Hath waked me from sleep;
Father, I own
Thy love alone,
Thy little ones doth keep.
MORNING HYMNS 157
All through the day,
I humbly pray,
Be Thou my Guard and Guide;
My sins forgive,
And let me Hve,
Blest Jesus, near Thy side.
Oh, make Thy rest.
Within my breast,
Great Spirit of all grace;
Make me like Thee,
Then shall I be
Prepared to see Thy face.
To Father, Son
And Spirit, One,
Great God whom I adore,
All glory be.
My God, to Thee
Both now and evermore.
With the exception of the doxology, which was written
and added to the hymn by Godfrey Thring in 1882,
the author, Rev. Dr. Summers, tells us an interesting
story of when and how he wrote this ''Morning Hymn."
He wrote the verses for his first child, a little girl, in Janu-
ary, 1845. He says that when she was about a year old
he was going down the Tombigbee River in a small river
steamer. ''In the quiet morning, riding on the river and
thinking of my little girl, I wrote a morning hymn for
her on the back of an envelope. When I reached Mobile
I transcribed it and sent it to her at Tuskaloosa." This
was the origin of this morning hymn for the little ones.
Several years later, as editor of the Southern Christian
Advocate, Dr. Summers published it anonymously in the
"Children's Page." It was T\idely copied and soon found
its way into the Sunday school and church hymnals.
158 FAVORITE HYMNS
Dr. Summers wrote a twin hymn to this called 'The
Daylight Fades." It is the children's evening hymn, and
was written for his second daughter in 1847. Written
for the children by a father who loved children, and who
was a man who combined poetic talent with a personal
experience of true Christian piety, his hymns, when the
story of their origin is known, will appeal still more to the
little folks, who should be taught not only the words, but
the atmosphere and the purpose of the hymns which they
sing. When they catch the spirit that is in them their
singing will be as music to their own souls, developing the
Christian harmony of a beautiful life for them through
He is to be pitied who does not love good hymns. It
has been claimed by some that Luther did as much for the
Reformation by his hymns as by his sermons. Certainly
the good old hymns of the Reformation were a power.
The great hymns which are so widely used and so popular
today are like sweet flowers along the Christian's pathway,
adding beauty and sweetness to the earthly way toward the
heavenly city. They are more than that when we come
to know their content and intent. Through the story of
their origin and use they become a powerful factor in sup-
porting and spreading the doctrines of the Church. They
help materially in molding the individual Christian life.
The choice and use of hymns is important in the conduct
J^^ HE evening vespers, whether they be held in the
^mJ church, in some institutional chapel, in some
S^» family circle, or in the closet of the individual
Christian, lend themselves most beautifully to the
cultivation of the devotional life. It is a great pity, there-
fore, that the strenuousness of present-day living and the
spirit of worldliness and pleasure-seeking have brought
into disuse the daily evening family worship, which was so
general a generation ago. We preface our consideration
of a few favorite evening hymns with this thought, because
a large number of those hymns had their origin in an effort
to provide for the needs of vesper worshipers. Possibly
calling attention to the fact may result in the setting up of
a few more family altars in Christian homes.
As the evening draws on and the light seems to melt into
darkness, how appropriate are the words of the evening
hymn of Bishop George W. Doane!
BISHOP DOANE's evening HYMN
Softly now the light of day
Fades upon my sight away;
Free from care, from labor free,
Lord, I would commune with Thee!
Thou whose all-pervading eye
Naught escapes without, within,
Pardon each infirmity,
Open fault, and secret sin.
l6o FAVORITE HMYNS
Soon for me the light of day-
Shall forever pass away;
Then, from sin and sorrow free,
Take me, Lord, to dwell with Thee!
Thou who, sinless, yet hast known
All of man's infirmity;
Then from Thine eternal throne,
Jesus, look with pitying eye.
This hymn, which was published in 1824, is one of the
few American hymns which has found a place in hymn
books across the sea, being published in several English
The author was born at Trenton, N. J. He was ordained
an Episcopal rector in 182 1. After serving in several
places, in 1832 he became bishop of New Jersey. This
hymn heads the list of his hymns. While he ranked high
as one of the great prelates of his church, he will go down
in history as a poet of more than average merit, his poetic
fame resting principally upon his hymns.
We venture the assertion, without fear of being ques-
tioned, that the most widely known and the general favorite
evening hymn is John Keble's ''Sun of My Soul, Thou
Saviour Dear." It has been aptly called
"the masterpiece of evensong"
Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear,
It is not night if Thou be near;
Oh, may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes.
When the soft dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep.
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest
Forever on my Saviour's breast!
EVENING HYMNS i6l
Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without Thee I cannot live;
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.
If some poor wandering child of Thine
Have spurned today the voice divine,
Now, Lord, the gracious work begin;
Let him no more lie down in sin.
Watch by the sick; enrich the poor
With blessings from Thy boundless store;
Be every mourner's sleep tonight.
Like infant's slumbers, pure and light.
Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere through the world our way we take;
Till in the ocean of Thy love
We lose ourselves in heaven above.
It is impossible to join with Christian people in the sing-
ing of this hymn without feeling that we are being brought
into close fellowship w4th Jesus. The song lifts us into
an atmosphere of sweetest communion with our blessed
A thoughtful use of the hyinn reveals something so
exquisitely tender in the sacred lines — it brings Christ
so near — that we naturally feel that the author of such a
hymn must have been not only a scholar and a poet, but
a man of deepest piety.
In this expectation we are not disappointed. The
author, the Rev. John Keble, was a man of highest scholarly
attainments, a true poet, or he never could have produced
that beautiful and popular book, 'The Christian Year."
These qualifications were ennobled and purified by the
power of Christian faith to a rare degree. ''Sweetness and
light harmoniously blended in the character and life of
l62 FAVORITE HYMNS
Keble to a marked degree." This explains why he sang
so much that so many other Christians love to sing. It
also suggests to us the value of going back of mere words
and melody to find the soul of the hymns we use in our
worship. If we succeed in leading only a few to.study the
hymns of the Church in this way, we will be fully repaid
for the pleasure we have had in searching for the story of
the origin and use of a few of our favorite hymns.
Notwithstanding the very wide use and great popularity
of this hymn, strange though it may seem, the immediate
circumstances under which it was inspired are not known.
Whether some incident or occasion called it forth from the
poetic soul of the author, or whether it was merely a
natural outflow of his personal spiritual consciousness,
makes little difference. The fact is, it breathes the spirit
of a man who lived in sweet communion wdth Christ.
It expresses so beautifully and so fully the personal feeling
of one who lives in most intimate fellowship with the
Saviour that we recognize in its wide popularity a testi-
mony to the fact that there are multitudes of devoted
Christian people who enjoy communion with Christ and
place reliance upon His nearness.
This explains why, while Keble's '' Christian Year'*
as a book has been widely published and in editions as
large as a hundred thousand copies, this hymn is known
not only to the thousands who have and enjoy the book,
but it is known to millions and loved by them. The music
of its verse is familiar in every nook and corner of the
English-speaking world. This fact gives a deep and a
personal meaning to our confession in the creed of our
faith in ''the communion of saints." They have such
communion through their common and close communion
with the Saviour Himself.
EVENING HYMNS 163
From a wild and tempest-tossed sea there comes a touchr
ing story that associates with this hymn. As dusk came
on in a wild sea a gallant ship went to her doom. A few
women and children had been placed in a boat, but broke
loose and drifted away, at the mercy of the waves, with
no one to row or to guide. Earlier in the evening, before
the darkness had quite settled down, brave men on the
shore had seen their plight and started to the rescue. In
spite of the tempest they hoped to save the lives of the
imperiled ones, but it became so dark they could see noth-
ing and could not find the ship. After a fruitless search
they turned by the compass to head for the shore, when,
far out on the water, and above the wail of the wind and
storm, they heard a woman's clear voice singing^
"Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear.
It is not night if Thou be near."
Turning toward the sound and bending to the oar, the
work of rescue was quickly accomplished. The singing of
Keble's hymn undoubtedly saved this boatload of human
lives. Certainly before morning they would have drifted
beyond human help or have been dashed to pieces on the
Among the finest evening hymns we know is one the
use of which in English is somewhat limited, although
there are several excellent translations. We believe that
the hymn will in time be a general favorite among those
worshiping in English, as it is today a universal favorite
with German people and German congregations. We
refer to the hymn, simple and homely in style, which
yet has taken fir«mest hold of the Germans' hearts,
1 64 FAVORITE HYMNS
Gerhard's nun ruhen alle waelder
Now hushed are woods and waters,
At rest toil's sons and daughters,
The world a-slumber lies:
But thou, my soul, awake thee,
To prayer and song betake thee.
And bid their grateful incense rise.
Sun, whither hast thou vanished?
The night day's foes has banished
At length each lingering beam;
But Jesus now draws nearer,
A better Sun, and dearer,
Sheds through my heart a warmer gleam.
The day has fled defeated —
In heaven's deep azure seated,
Stars shine, a golden band;
I, too, on that bright morrow.
Called from this vale of sorrow,
Like them, in heaven with God shall stand.
To rest my body hasteth,
Aside its garments casteth,
Types of our mortal stata;
When I put off this mortal.
At death's mysterious portal,
Christ's pure white robes my soul await.
This hymn has been pronounced one of the finest of
Paul Gerhard's hymns. Considering the number and the
beauty and evangelical richness of the hymns of Gerhard,
this is high praise. Of this hymn Baron Bunsen wrote, in
1830: "Ever since its publication this hymn has been one
of the most beloved and best known hymns of devout
meditation over the whole of Germany. Experienced
and conceived in a truly childlike, popular spirit, it unites
EVENING m^MNS 165
with rare naive simplicity of expression, a loftiness of
thought, a depth of Christian experience, a grace of
poetry, so that for this union of qualities it must rank
as an enduring masterpiece among hymns."
This hymn, which we have furnished in the English
translation of Frances Elizabeth Cox, may, perhaps, be
raised in our estimation by the knowledge of the fact that
it was a special favorite of the great German poet, Schiller,
who learned to love it from his mother. This brief glimpse
into the early home of the poet is a suggestion of the Ger-
man home life, which, perhaps, accounts for the fact that
there are so many more German hymns than there are
English ones. It is a part of the German home life to
A hymn which is primarily a hymn for the evening of
life, but which has come to be a general favorite as a vesper
hymn, is the "Swan Song," of that young English clergy-
man and hymn- writer, the Rev. Henry Francis Lyte.
The author of this hymn was a Scotchman, born at Felso,
Scotland, June i, 1793.
He was in failing health, and, having been ordered to
leave England, where he had serv^ed for a number of years
as rector at Lower Brixham, on the shores of Torbay,
England, he preached his farewell sermon on Sunday,
September 5, 1847. Toward evening of the same day he
walked out along the shore and witnessed the sun setting
in red and gold. It was a most beautiful and peaceful
evening. Returning and meditating, he sat down at his
desk and wrote. Presently he placed in the hands of a
member of his family the manuscript of the hymn, "Abide
With Me; Fast Falls the Eventide." In the prime of life,
he had hoped to live, but if this privilege was not granted
1 66 FAVORITE HYMNS
him he prayed that he might be able to do something
which would prove of lasting benefit to the Church.
His prayer was answered, for in this ''Swan Song" was his
benediction, for he never preached again. The following
day he started for the South, but did not live to complete
his journey. He died in France, his remains being buried
in the English cemetery in Nice. His grave is the Mecca
of many pilgrims, some of whom testify that this hymn has
been of greatest spiritual help to them.
Knowing the story of this hymn, that it was the very
last work of an earnest evangelical minister, we read new
meaning in its lines, and hereafter when we sing it we
will necessarily be drawn upward and closer to God and
will feel the certainty of the eternal and the need of a
Saviour as we sing the closing stanza, which is worthy
of being made a part of our daily evening devotions.
We, most of us, have the words written upon our minds,
but we will not object to having them appear on the
ABIDE WITH ME
Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, abide with me!
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide v.ith me!
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free,
Come, not to sojourn, but abide with me.
EVENING HYMNS 167
Come not in terrors as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with heahng in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea;
Friend of sinners, thus abide with me!
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee;
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me!
1 need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's powxr?
Who, Hke Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, abide with me!
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me!
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes.
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadow's flee;
In life, in death, Lord, abide with me!
There is another evening hymn which has been pro-
nounced one of the best evening hymns in the English
language, which owes its origin indirectly to the somewhat
savage Christianity of Abyssinia. We refer to the hymn,
"Saviour, Breathe an Evening Blessing."
The author of this hymn, Dr. James Edmeston, it is
said, was deeply impressed by the reading of an account
of a traveler, who told, in connection with a visit to Abys-
sinia, of how at night the Abyssinians always sang their
short evening hymn, "Jesus Mahaxaroo." The meaning
is "Jesus Forgives Us." This sentiment, the traveler
said, stole through the camp, and in the spell of this
1 68 FAVORITE HYMNS
thought they would retire to sleep. Thinking over this
narrative, he conceived and wrote the hymn which so many
English-speaking Christians today love and sing. We
close this study with the words as a prayer, and in the hope
that we have in glimpsing these wonderful hymns of even-
ing kindled in our hearts a keener desire for evening wor-
''Saviour, breathe an evening blessing,
Ere repose our spirits seal;
Sin and want we come confessing;
Thou canst save, and Thou canst heal.
"Though destruction walk around us,
Though the arrow past us fly,
Angel- guards from Thee surround us;
We are safe if Thou art nigh.
"Though tKe night be dark and dreary,
Darkness cannot hide from Thee;
Thou art He who, never weary,
Watchest where Thy people be.
"Should swift death this night o'ertake us,
And our couch become our tomb,
May the morn in heaven awake us,
Clad in bright and deathless bloom."
A HYMN OF PETITION AND A HYMN OF TRUST
"j^^ HE life story of a writer, his personal experiences
^■z and the circumstances under which he "^Tote
^§88 "^ill often give new meaning to a hymn. The
circumstances under which a hymn was written
particularly, will often materially increase our appreciation
of it. In fact, in the case of many hymns, the story of
their origin is essential to the correct interpretation of
That beautiful penitential hymn by Joachim Neander
is an illustration of the advantage of knowiag the life story
of the writer. We quote the hymn ^\dth its German title
and in the excellent English translation of Miss Winkworth
which is the translation most generally used and best
known by us.
SIEH HIER BIX ICH, EHRENKOENIG
Here behold me, as I cast me
'Neath Thy throne, O glorious King!
Sorrows thronging, childlike longing,
Son of man, to Thee I bring.
Let me find Thee!
Me, a poor and worthless thing.
Look upon me, Lord, I pray Thee,
Let Thy Spirit dwell in mine;
Thou hast sought me, Thou hast brought me,
Only Thee to know I pine.
Let me find Thee!
Take my heart, and own me Thine!
lyo FAVORITE HYMNS
Naught I ask for, naught I strive for,
But Thy grace so rich and free;
That Thou givest whom Thou lovest,
And who truly cleave to Thee.
Let me find Thee!
He hath all things who hath Thee.
Earthly treasure, mirth and pleasure,
Glorious name, or golden hoard,
Are but weary, void and dreary.
To the heart that longs for God.
Let me find Thee!
I am Thine, mighty Lord!
This was probably the last hymn from the pen of the
writer, as it bears the date 1679 A. D., which is the year
preceding his death.
Joachim Neander was one of the earliest and one of the
best hymn writers of the "Reformed Church." As a
student at Bremen he was unusually wild and reckless.
As an illustration of his spirit it is told that on one occasion
he and several companions went into St. Martin's Church
of Bremen with the avowed purpose of making jest of the
services, but the sermon so affected him that he became
conscience stricken and in private visited the preacher.
The result was that he came more and more into communi-
cation with the pastor, whose influence led him to be more
circumspect in his mode of life.
He continued to love sport, and was an ardent hunter.
On one occasion he was hunting in a forest, lost his way and
suddenly found himself in dense darkness in a most
dangerous position, where a single misstep meant his
plunging to death over a great precipice. A feeling of
horror came over him. For a few moments he could not
A HYMN OF PETITION AND A HYMN OF TRUST 171
move. In his extremity he prayed earnestly to God for
help. According to his own story his courage returned.
He felt as though a hand were leading him. Following the
path thus indicated he reached his home in safety. In
his prayer at the edge of the precipice he had vowed if he
reached home in safety henceforth to devote himself
entirely to the service of God. From that day he kept that
Neander became very earnest and conscientious. He
met and became intimate with Spener, the Lutheran
pietist at Frankfurt, and while a teacher in the Reformed
Grammer School at Diisseldorf, he was wont to hold
prayer meetings on his own account. He would also
absent himself from the communion, because as he said
he could not conscientiously commune along with the
unconverted. His attitude in these respects, especially
as he advised others to do as he did, resulted in his sus-
pension as a teacher. He was forbidden to preach and
banished from the towTi. His pupils w^ould have fought
for him, but he would not permit them to do so. There is
a story current that he went to a deep glen near Mettmann,
on the Rhine, where he spent the period of his banishment,
which was not very long, living in a cavern. This cavern is
still kno\\Ti by the name of "Neander's Cave." We are
told that while in this cave he wrote several hymns.
A HYMN WRITTEN IN A CAVE
"A deep and holy awe
Put Thou, my God, within my inmost soul,
While near Thy feet I draw;
And my heart sings in me, and my voice praises Thee;
Do Thou all wandering sense and thought control.
172 FAVORITE HYMNS
"O God, the crystal light
Of Thy most stainless sunshine here is mine;
It floods my outer sight;
Ah, let me well discern Thyself where'er I turn,
And see Thy power through all Thy creatures shine.
''Hark! how the air is sweet
With music from a thousand warbKng throats.
Which echo doth repeat;
To Thee I also sing, keep me beneath Thy wing;
Disdain not Thou to hst my harsher notes.
"Ah, Lord, the universe
Is bright and laughing, full of pomp and mirth;
Each summer doth rehearse
A tale forever new of wonders Thou canst do
In sunny skies and on the fruitful earth.
"Thee all the mountains praise;
The rocks and glens are full of song to Thee!
They bid me join my lays,
And laud the mighty Rock, who, safe from every shock,
Beneath Thy shadow here doth shelter me."
Intensely personal, the imagery is beautiful and gives
a glimpse into the life of the man who has written many
hymns which speedily were received into both Lutheran
and Reformed hymn books. Many of them lived and
are still in general use.
If now we will re-read his ^^Sieh bin ich, Ehrenkdnig,^*
and recall that it was written at the evening of a life
begun in recklessness and with a purpose to make jest of
religion, and which was filled with earnest piety and
conscientious confl.ict we will find a richness of penitence
and trust which w^ill make these stanzas, w^henever in the
future it is our privilege to sing them, most helpful and
There are few hymns that are better known or more
A HYMN OF PETITION AND A HYMN OF TRUST 173
widely used than the hymn, "My Faith Looks Up to
Thee." It was composed in 1830 by the Rev. Ray
Palmer, D. D., a Congregational clergyman. The words
in themselves are so beautiful that we cannot help loving
the hymn, but the writer's own description of its composi-
tion will certainly increase our appreciation of the deep
personal trust which is embodied in its lines.
Dr. Palmer says that in composing this hymn he had
not the slightest idea that he was writing for any eye but
his own. He was simply expressing his own personal
experience. He says of the composition: "I gave form to
what I felt by writing, with little effort, the stanzas.
I recollect I wrote them with very tender emotion, and
ended the last line w^th tears." After writing the stanzas
he slipped the paper into a vest pocket, where it remained
We might also say, led by the divine Spirit, hov/ever,
that a short time afterward, his personal friend, Dr.
Lowell Mason, met him and asked him if he would not
give him one of his hymns that he might compose music
Dr. Palmer at once recalled his meditation and said he
had something in his vest pocket that might serve his
purpose. He drew it out, and, after some difficulty,
straightened out the crumpled paper and deciphered the
almost worn-out pencil script.
Dr. Mason was delighted mth the words, caught their
spirit, and very shortly afterward returned the words to
Dr. Palmer set to the tune ''Olivet," the tune which has
been used with it ever since. The musician shortly after-
ward, in meeting the author of the words, said to him,
"Dr. Palmer, you may live many years, and do many good
things, but I think you will be best kno\\Ti to posterity
174 FAVORITE HYMNS
as the author of 'My Faith Looks Up to Thee.' " This
prophecy is today a fact.
These words, with the music which has helped materially
to endear the hymn to devout worshipers, seem almost
to have been an accident. A Doctor of Music and a
Doctor of Theology meeting casually in a busy thorough-
fare of commerce for a very brief interview, scarcely more
than enough for a polite salutation in passing as friends,
and the consequence is the publication of a Christian hymn
which is found in nearly every English hymn book pub-
lished, and is today republished in a number of other
The words and the tune belong together. The fact
is only an illustration of the fact that in all cases we should
take special care to associate the tune and words and never
for the sake of variety attempt to use a strange tune with
words that are in the mind and hearts of worshipers in-
separably connected with their own melody.
RAY palmer's hymn OF TRUST
My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Now hear me while I pray;
Take all my guilt away;
O let me from this day
Be wholly Thine.
May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire;
As Thou hast died for me,
O may my love to Thee
Pure, warm, and changeless be,
A living fire.
A HYMN OF PETITION AND A HYMN OF TRUST 175
While life's dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow's tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.
When ends life's transient dream,
When death's cold sullen stream
Shall o'er me roll;
Blest Saviour, then, in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above,
A ransomed soul.
LUTHER'S HYMN AGAINST THE TURK AND THE
LORD KEEP US STEADFAST IN THY WORD
ORD, keep us steadfast in Thy word:
Curb those who fain by craft or sword
Would wrest the kingdom from Thy Son,
And set at naught all He hath done.
Lord Jesus Christ, Thy power make known;
For Thou art Lord of lords alone:
Defend Thy Christendom, that we
May evermore sing praise to Thee.
O Comforter, of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth,
Support us in our final strife.
And lead us out of death to life.
This hymn, which Luther probably wrote in 1541,
has been called a ''Child's song against the two arch-
enemies of Christ and His holy Church — the pope and
the Turk." Neither is named in the hymn itself, which
is really a prayer in verse to keep us through the word
under the protection of the Triune God.
The story of how Luther happened to write this hymn
is very interesting. The knowing of it will give a deeper
meaning to this short but expressive hymn, hence we give
it. History tells us that in 1541 a service of prayer against
the Turks was held in Wittenberg. For this service
Luther prepared what, in ecclesiastical language, is called
LUTHER'S m'MN AGAINST THE TURK AND POPE 177
the ''Office," which is the order of the worship. Most
of the music which was prepared was designed for the boys
of the choir, which is suggestive of the fact that boy
choirs were not unknown in Luther's day. This ser\'ice
was printed in a large sheet form in 1542. It included the
words of this hymn. It was also pubUshed in low German
at Magdeburg in the same year. It found its way into
a book known as Klug's Ceistliche Lieder, which was pub-
Hshed in 1543-44. Here it was given the title, "A Hymn
for the Children to Sing Against the Two Arch-enemies of
Christ and His Holy Chu.ch — the Pope and the Turks."
In view of the later history the reference to the Turk in
this connection is interesting and seems almost prophetic.
The Turk, through his persecutions and massacres of
Christians, has earned the unenviable reputation of being
an arch-enemy of the worst t^-pe. The history of the
papacy warrants the prayer to be protected from this
enemy of evangelical truth and freedom.
It is very interesting to note the fact that it early
came into use in England. It was introduced in a trans-
lation by R. S. Wisdome. It was pubUshed in 1560. It
came into favor and appeared in later editions and in
other collections of h\Tnns.
Warton in his "History of English Poetry" erroneously
gives Wisdome, the translator, the credit of being the
author and credits him \^ith this hymn as the most mem-
orable of his work. He, however, says that Wisdome
apparently had magnified the danger which threatened
from popery and Mohammedanism, and questions whether
they are "equally dangerous and also whether they are
the sole enemies of our religion." He concludes by saying,
"Happily we have hitherto survived these two formidable
178 FAVORITE HYMNS
But Luther, the real author, had more opportunity to
know both the Turk and the pope. They become to us
in this hymn only the historic background of what is a
prayer of the highest order to insure the protection of
Christian people from all enemies. In it the word is our
defence, God is our protector, Jesus Himself is our defence,
and the Comforter our support in every strife until eternal
victory is ours.
Luther in his "Table Talk" comments on the conditions
which occasioned the writing of this hymn. He says:
"Antichrist is the pope and the Turk together; a beast
full of life must have a body and a soul; the spirit or soul
of antichrist is the pope, his flesh or body the Turk. The
latter wastes and assails and persecutes God's Church
corporally; the former spiritually and corporally too, with
hanging, burning, murdering, etc. But, as in the apostles'
time, the Church had the victory over the Jews and
Romans, so now will she keep the field firm and solid
against the hypocrisy and idolatry of the pope and the
tyranny and devastation of the Turk and her other
The origin and the content of this hymn emphasize
its meaning and value. Rome boasts that she never
changes; the Turk has not improved, new and diverse
enemies have risen round about us, so that there are
numerous occasions when sincere Christians, realizing
their environment, can enter with appreciation into the
singing of this old Luther hymn, recognizing that though
some conditions vary, the real dangers are the same, and
the need of every influence and protection and guidance of
the Triune God prayed for in this remarkable Luther
hymn is needed today and every day that the Christian
LUTHER'S HYMN AGAINST THE TURK AND POPE 179
This hymn is found in all good Lutheran hymn books;
it is included in the new ''Common Service Book with
Hymnal" for all English-speaking Lutherans; it is a uni-
versal favorite in German churches. Written primarily
for the children to sing, it has become a general favorite of
devout, believing Christians who find it a most expressive
prayer, breathing their innermost feelings as to the neces-
sity of the restraints which only God can throw around the
enemies of truth and the protection which only God can
give to all Christians. It is, therefore, a prayer for con-
tinuance in the word as a safe tower of defence.
The favor in w^hich this hymn is held is evidenced by the
fact that there are quite a number of translations. One
authority refers to fourteen different English translations.
That of Miss Winkworth, which we have given, is the
favorite and is the one generally used in English books of
worship. This hymn has also found its way into the
other languages in which Luther's faith is preached. All
young Lutherans know that these are numerous. Our
singing of this great Luther hymn in the future will be with
a deeper appreciation and a better understanding.
THE BATTLE-HYMN OF PROTESTANTISM
A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD
MIGHTY Fortress is our God,
A trusty Shield and Weapon;
He helps us free from every need
That hath us now o'ertaken.
The old bitter foe
Means us deadly woe:
Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight,
On earth is not his equal.
With might of ours can naught be done,
Soon were our loss effected;
But for us fights the Vahant One,
Whom God Himself elected.
Ask ye, Who is this?
Jesus Christ it is.
Of Sabaoth Lord,
And there's none other God,
He holds the field forever.
Though devils all the world should fill,
All watching to devour us,
We tremble not, we fear no ill.
They cannot overpower us.
This world's prince may still
Scowl fierce as he will,
He can harm us none.
He's judged, the deed is done,
One Httle word o'erthrows him.
THE BATTLE-HYMN OF PROTESTANTISM i8l
The Word they still shall let remain
And not a thank have for it,
He's by our side upon the plain,
With His good gifts and Spirit.
Take they then our life,
Goods, fame, child and wife;
When their worst is done,
They yet have nothing won,
The Kingdom ours remaineth.
As in the great drama of the Reformation one colossal
figure stands prominently forth, so in the rich storehouse
of Lutheran hymnology there is one great hymn which
stands out as the greatest of them all, namely, Luther's
Battle Hymn — '*A mighty Fortress is our God."
Koestlin, the historian, has well written, "This hymn
is Luther in song. It is pitched in the very key of the man.
Rugged and majestic, trustful in God and confident, it
was the defiant trumpet blast of the Reformation, speaking
out to the powers of the earth and under the earth an all-
conquering conviction of divine vocation and empower-
ment. The world has many sacred songs of exquisite
tenderness and unalterable trust, but this one of Luther's
is matchless in its warlike tone, its rugged strength and its
Probably the prevalent impression that Luther wrote
this hymn on his way to Worms and chanted it as he entered
the city is due to the parallel in the third stanza to his fa-
mous saying on the eve of the Diet of Worms, *T'll go,
though there are as many devils in the city as there are
tiles on the roofs of the houses."
The time of its composition, according to the best
authorities, was just before the Diet of Augsburg in 1529.
It probably was written in his temporary refuge, the noble
i82 FAVORITE HYMNS
Castle Coburg. It certainly was often sung there by him.
We naturally, therefore, associate its imagery with this
beautiful castle. According to d'Aubigne, the historian,
it was sung by the reformers not only at the Diet itself
in Augsburg, but also by the people in all the churches of
Saxony. Thus we see that this, the greatest of our Ref-
ormation hymns, was born almost simultaneously with
Protestantism's greatest distinctive creed, the Augsburg
Confession. We cannot consistently subscribe to the
one without ardently loving and diligently using the
The hymn was suggested by Psalm 46, but it is really
Luther's psalm, not David's. Only the idea of the strong-
hold is taken from the Scripture, the rest is Luther's own,
as Mr. Stead says, "Made in Germany." Luther loved
Psalm 46, and we are told that when in any special trial
he often would say to Melanchthon, "Come, Philip, let
us sing the forty-sixth Psalm." And how they would sing
it, but according to Luther's own version.
It has even been said that Luther accomplished as much
for the Reformation through his battle hymn as he did
through his translation of the Bible. While we could not
set up this claim as a fact, it certainly was the "Marseillaise
of the Reformation, and has preserved to this day a potent
spell over Germany."
The music of this grand hymn, like the words, is Luther's
own. A special testimony to his work as a composer ap-
pears in a letter from the composer, John Walther, who has
been credited with the music of this hymn. Sleidan, a
nearly contemporary historian, speaking especially of "Ein
Feste Burg," says ''that Luther made for it a tune singu-
larly suited to the words and adapted to stir the heart."
Says Leonard Woolsey Bacon, "If ever there were hymn
THE BATTLE-HYMN OF PROTESTANTIS^I 183
and tune that told their own story of a common and sim-
ultaneous origin, without need of confirmation by external
evidence, it is these."
The general favor and wide use of this hymn are evi-
denced by the fact stated by the late Dr. Bernard Pick,
a leading American authority on the hymns of Luther,
that there are no less than ninety distinct translations
of Luther's Battle Hymn into English, and that the
hymn has been translated into about fifty different lan-
guages. What a Pentecostal evidence of evangelical faith
to hear each man in his owtl of these fifty tongues unite as
the great choir of the Church Triumphant in singing the
rugged notes and vigorous words of Luther's Battle Hymn
as their song of victory! Fitting words and melody for
such a chorus.
In the formative days of the Reformation Luther's
Battle Hymn was ''sung in all the churches of Saxony,
and its energetic strains often revived and inspirited the
most dejected hearts." It was sung at Luther's funeral.
The first line is carved on his tomb in the Castle Church
Another incident illustrative of the influence of this
hymn in the Reformation days is told in connection with
the introduction of the evangelical faith into Hanover.
The people there caught up the hymns and sang them
with delight; they imbibed the spirit of the battle hymn
and thus paved the way for the evangelical preacher.
The Huguenots of France took great comfort out of
singing what they were pleased to call the Marseillaise of
Strange as it may seem to our readers, it was a true
defence for the Moravians in connection with a great
revival meeting. David Nitschman, who was later the
1 84 FAVORITE HYIMNS
founder of old Bethlehem, Pa., was holding a revival
service in his house when the police came to disperse
the meeting. As the officers entered the congregation
began singing "A mighty Fortress." Many were arrested,
but nothing daunted, Nitschman escaped and with others
fled to America, arriving with Wesley at Savannah,
At the great battles for Protestantism at Leipzig and
Liitzen the stirring notes of Luther's great hymn rang out
over the martial scene and gave inspiration to the thousands
of soldiers who, like a mightly choir, made the very arches
of heaven re-echo with its vigorous strains.
During the Boxer uprising in China Missionary Charles
G. Lewis tells in his experiences how he and his com-
pany were situated two thousand miles inland and seven
days' journey from their nearest Christian neighbors.
Attempting flight, they were forced to return to their
station. Knowing something of the fate of their fellow-
missionaries elsewhere, in these days of peril and uncer-
tainty they found new meaning in the words of Luther as
they sang '^A mighty Fortress is our God." Through the
singing of this hymn his testimony is that their hearts
received fresh strength and courage and they realized, as
never before, how the Lord's people in the trying days of
the Reformation found in God a ^'mighty Fortress from
The missionaries in Paoutingfu, China, were all killed
during those same Boxer uprisings. Later a memorial
service was held on the very spot where these messengers
of the cross w^ere martyred. Officials of the various govern-
ments w^hose missionaries had died there, together with
Chinese officials, were present. The outstanding feature
of that memorial service was the singing, led by a German
THE BATTLE-HYMN OF PROTESTANTISM 185
military band, of Luther's famous hymn by the polyglot
Independent of its religious significance, this hymn has
found favor with the musical critics as a suitable choral for
the use of great gatherings. As an instance, we note the
fact that it was the choice for the grand chorus to sing in
one of Boston's greatest musical festivals.
There is seldom a gathering of Lutherans in America
which does not, before dispersing, join in singing "Ein
Feste B urg . " At the greater gatherings it is usually printed
in several languages, so that the people may sing it in the
tongue which is most familiar to them. In Chicago,
New York, Pittsburgh, MinneapoUs, Philadelphia, Buffalo
we have joined in the singing when* from three to six
different languages were used simultaneously. It seems
to lift the audience to its feet.
In speaking of one of such occasions a distinguished
WTiter says: ''Led by an immense band, 'A Mighty Fortress'
was sung in seven different languages. It was a perfect
babel of sound, but the effect was wonderful. So grandly
was it simg, with such matchless harmony, unity and
solemnity that it stirred the vast audience to tears and to
the utmost pitch of enthusiasm. To those who were
present it is Uttle wonder that the hymn bore an important
part in nerving the German soldiers to deeds of desperate
daring when sung on the eve of battle, or that it should be
used as a great thanksgiving psalm when the victory was
Such is the matchless hymn which is peculiarly the
property of the Lutheran Church and w^hich Lutherans
gladly contribute to the whole Protestant world as the
stirring marshal music, which, widely used, will be mighty
1 86 FAVORITE HYMNS
in voicing faith, in cultivating deepest devotion and devel-
oping greatest Christian courage.
With Luther, as in trials he says to Melanchthon, not
only to all Lutherans, but to all who would develop evan-
gelical faith, let us say, "Come, let us sing the forty-sixth
psalm." We will sing it in Luther's words to Luther's
melody. It will prove an inspiration and make evan-
gelical Christians realize their real Tower and Source of
strength and defence.
HYMNS ON THE CHURCH
CHE Church as a Divine institution, the channel
through which men are led to and blessed by God,
g^gS has naturally been the theme which has inspired
the Church's singers. John Newton has fur-
nished us one of this type of hymns, a hymn which was
originally published in the Olney Hymns under the title
of "Zion, or the City of God." It was a hymn of five
stanzas, based on Isa. 33 : 20, 21. The Olney Hymns
were published in 1779.
Newton's hymn on the church of christ
Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God;
He, whose word cannot be broken,
Form'd thee for His own abode;
On the Rock of Ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation's walls surrounded.
Thou may'st smile at all thy foes.
See the streams of living waters
Springing from eternal love.
Well supply thy sons and daughters,
And all fear of want remove.
Who can faint while such a river
Ever flows their thirst to assuage?
Grace, which, like the Lord, the Giver,
Never fails from age to age.
l88 FAVORITE HYMNS
Saviour, if of Zion's city
I, through grace, a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in Thy Name,
Fading is the wordMng's pleasure,
All his boasted pomp and show;
SoHd joys and lasting treasure
None but Zion's children know.
This hymn, which is used in various forms both
in England and in this country, has attained great
popularity in all English-speaking countries. It ranks
among the first hymns in English in every branch of the
Protestant Church. It is interesting to note that a por-
tion of this hymn has been translated into Latin and is
included in a Latin Hymn book w^hich w^as published in
A FESTIVAL PROCESSIONAL
A hymn which has an interesting origin and history is
the hymn usually called by its first line, "The Church's
One Foundation." It was written by Samuel J. Stone in
1866. The story of its conception in the mind of the
waiter is that he was impressed by the defence of the
Cathohc Faith made by Bishop Gray, of Capetown,
against the teachings of Bishop Colenso. This fact
gives it an historic association which adds interest and
meaning to its stanzas, which in the original number
The hymn as it appeared originally is an elaboration of
that portion of the Apostles' Creed which is indicated by
the title, 'The Holy CathoHc Church: The Communion
of Saints. He is the Head of the Body, the Church."
This title is given to the hymn in the author's collection
HYMNS ON THE CHURCH 189
known as "Lyra Fidelium." These facts of its credal
foundation and origin as an outburst of joy and confidence
over the defence of the Church make it a true hymn of the
Church, one which is especially appropriate for us on
Church festivals. We give herewith those stanzas which
are most familiar and most widely used.
A FESTIVAL HYMN ON THE CHURCH
The Church's one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation
By water and the Word;
From heaven He came, and sought her
To be His holy Bride,
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.
Elect from every nation,
Yet one o'er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation
One Lord, one Faith, one Birth;
One holy Name she blesses.
Partakes one holy Food,
And to one Hope she presses.
With every grace endued.
Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore opprest,
By schisms rent asunder.
By heresies distrest;
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.
IQO FAVORITE HYMNS
Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace for evermore;
Till with the vision glorious
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.
A hymn which has found a place among the hymns which
will live and which is known especially as the author's
hymn by the title which is often given to it, "Dr. D wight's
Hymn," is that hymn from the pen of Yale's distinguished
President which breathes in rhythmic poetry the spirit
of David's beautiful "Song of Degrees." The hymn is
usually sung to the tune St. Thomas, to which tune it was
set by Aaron Williams, who does not claim authorship for
the music, which while not credited to Handel, is generally
believed to be a production of that master musician.
DR. DWIGHT's hymn
I love Thy Zion, Lord,
The house of Thine abode;
The Church our blest Redeemer saved
With His own precious Blood.
I love Thy Church, O God!
Her walls before Thee stand,
Dear as the apple of Thine eye.
And graven on Thy hand.
For her my tears shall fall;
For her my prayers ascend:
To her my cares and toils be given
Till toils and cares shall end.
Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heavenly ways.
Her sweet communion, solemn vows,
Her hymns of love and praise.
HYMNS ON THE CHURCH 191
Jesus, Thou Friend divine.
Our Saviour and our King,
Thy hand from every snare and foe
Shall great deliverance bring.
Sure as Thy truth shall last,
To Zion shall be given
The brightest glories earth can yield,
And brighter bliss of heaven.
Among the seven hundred and sixty-five hymns written
by Thomas Kelly is one on the safety of the Church which
is worthy of a place in any good hymn book. The author,
who was a son of an eminent Irish judge, was educated
with a view to the law; but through spiritual conviction
gave himself to the work of the ministry. With Rowland
Hill, because of his earnest evangelical preaching, he was
inhibited by the Archbishop of Dublin and compelled to
preach in unconsecrated buildings. He eventually seceded
from the Established Church and erected a number of
places of worship in which he conducted worship and
preached. This insight into the life of the author will
materially increase our appreciation of his hymn in which
he sings of the safety of the Church.
HYMN ON THE SAFETY OF THE CHURCH
Zion stands with hills surrounded;
Zion kept by power divine;
All her foes shall be confounded.
Though the world in arms combine.
What a favored lot is thine!
Every human tie may perish;
Friend to friend unfaithful prove;
Mothers cease their own to cherish;
Heaven and earth at last remove;
But no changes
Can attend Jehovah's love.
192 FAVORITE HYMNS
In the furnace God may prove thee,
Thence to bring thee forth more bright,
But can never cease to love thee;
Thou art precious in His sight:
God is with thee,
God, thine everlasting Light.
A hymn which emphasizes the security of the Church
and which is growing in favor in all portions of it
is Bishop A. Cleveland Cox's, "O Where are Kings and
Empires Now." This hymn, which was. first published
in ''The Churchman" in 1839, is a part of Bishop Cox's
ballad, ** Chelsea." Amid the rise and fall of nations we
in the light of history see the full significance of this mean-
HYMN ON THE SECURITY OF THE CHURCH
O where are kings and empires now,
Of old that went and came?
But, Lord, Thy Church is praying yet,
A thousand years the same.
We mark her goodly battlements,
And her foundations strong;
We hear within the solemn voice
Of her unending song,
For not hke kingdoms of the world
Thy holy Church,^0 Lord!
Though earthquake shocks are threatening her,
And tempests are abroad;
Unshaken as th' eternal hills,
Immovable she stands,
A mountain that shall fill the earth,
A house not made with hands.
CHRISTIAN WAR HYMNS
OIUT of the heroic struggles of the Thirty Years' War,
I which saved for the world the fruit of the sixteenth
^ century Reformation, there stands forth one
gigantic son of the Vikings, the noble Gustavus
Adolphus, king of Sweden. His name is inseparably
linked with one of the really great hymns of the Church —
a hymn which was born in the midst of the conflict and
is especially expressive of the faith and heroism which
characterizes all true behevers in the midst of trials and
GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS BATTLE SONG
Fear not, little flock, the foe
Who madly seeks your overthrow;
Dread not his rage and power:
What though your courage sometimes faints.
His seeming triumph o'er God's saints
Lasts but a little hour.
Be of good cheer; your cause belongs
To Him who can avenge your wrongs;
Leave it to Him, our Lord.
Though hidden yet from mortal eyes,
Salvation shall for you arise:
He girdeth on His sword!
As true as God's own word is true,
Not earth nor hell ^\ith all their crew
Against us shall prevail.
A jest and byword are they grown:
God is with us; we are His own;
Our victory cannot fail.
194 FAVORITE HYMNS
Amen, Lord Jesus, grant our prayer!
Great Captain, now Thine arm make bare;
Fight for us once again!
So shall Thy saints and martyrs raise
A mighty chorus to Thy praise,
World without end. Amen.
The hymn was written to commemorate the victory
of the Protestant armies under Gustavus Adolphus on the
field of Leipzig, September, 17, 1631. The authorship
is somewhat uncertain. It is popularly ascribed to King
Gustavus Adolphus himself. There are good authorities
who say that his chaplain, Jacob Fabricius, was the real
author. Still others, and with the weight of evidence in
their favor, say that the author was Johann Michael
Altenberg, a Lutheran pastor, who was compelled to flee
from his home during the Thirty Years' War. While
at Erfurt he wrote this hymn to celebrate the victory of
the Swedish king and his army over Roman Catholic
forces at Leipzig. Gustavus Adolphus, the Swedish king
and commander, was so taken with it that he used it
constantly and ordered it to be sung before every battle
thereafter. This accounts for the title and the accredited
authorship. He made it his own.
The oldest form of the hymn is published as a pamphlet,
which appeared shortly after the battle of Liitzen. A
copy of this pamphlet is to be found in the Royal Library
in Berlin and another in the Totvh Library in Hamburg.
We are told that on the morning of November, 16, 1632,
King Gustavus Adolphus' forces engaged Wallenstein's
army in the decisive battle of Liitzen. Early in the morn-
ing the king summoned his court preacher, Fabricius, and
directed him to hold a service of prayer for the whole
army. While a thick mist still covered the field the king's
CHRISTIAN WAR HYMNS 195
battle hymn was sung. Gustavus then gave the watch-
word for the fight — ''God with us" — rode before the army
to encourage his soldiers and commanded that as the troops
advanced the trumpets should play ''Ein Feste Burg" and
"Es woll uns Gott gnadig sein." The battle was fiercely
fought, the king falling, but victory came and evangelical
liberty was assured and sealed by the blood of the martyred
Swedish king. Because of the use of this hymn on the
morning of his death it is often called 'The Swan Song of
King Gustavus Adolphus."
The prayer which the king uttered that morning has
been preserved. It was his usual battle prayer, and
embraced the following brief sentences: "O Lord Jesus
Christ, bless our armies and this day's battle, for the glory
of Thy holy name! Amen." Uttering the battle cry,
"God with us!" he fought till he fell from his charger
in the front of his valiant troops, when from the lips of the
dying king came these words, "I seal with my blood the
liberty and religion of the German nation." It was the
heroic and worthy ending of a martyr, an incident which
adds imperishable interest to the hymn.
Well has Frederick Saunders said: "What struggles
of soul have some of these hymns not witnessed, in what
strange and stirring scenes have they not mingled! How
has their melody and sweet inspiration brought solace to
sorrow, and lent ecstasy to spiritual joy! Like the words
of the Holy Book, they linger in the memory; and, in the
hours of despondency and gloom, how often have they
lifted us up from the earthliness of our being, and also
imparted even to the sick and dying wondrous consola-
tion." How we should seek to know the origin and enter
into the spirit of the hymns we sing !
Concerning Gustavus Adolphus' hymn we might add
196 FAVORITE HYMNS
that it is published in the Swedish hymn book of 181 9,
a book in extensive use both in Sweden and America,
and there ascribed to the king himself. In the Swedish
Lutheran churches in this country it is invariably sung at
Reformation festivals and also at Gustavus Adolphus Day
(November 6) celebrations. It is also in very general
use in all Lutheran churches in this country and increasing
in popularity and use every year.
It was sung at the dedication of the Gustavus Adolphus
Chapel at Liitzen November 6, 1907. This chapel was
the gift of Conrad Oscar Ekman, of Sweden, to the city
of Liitzen. It stands on the spot which tradition points
out as the place where the great king fell and where
*'Schwedenstein" was placed. At the dedication there
were present representatives of the Church in Germany,
Sweden, Finland and America, officially speaking for the
followers of Luther and Gustavus Adolphus in those lands.
It was a great occasion and a high tribute to the man who
fell there and whose favorite melody rang out to honor the
man who had found strengthening for his faith in the rugged
words of the old battle song, which had aided in bringing
to a successful issue the terrors of the Thirty Years' Wax.
Whether German or Swede may claim this hymn is a
question. They both rightly own it. It is a general
favorite in Germany. Every Sunday in the home of the
great German Lutheran pietist, Philip Jacob Spener, this
hymn was sung. It is regularly used at the meetings of
the Gustavus Adolphus Union, an association organized
for the express purpose of helping Protestant Churches in
Roman Catholic countries. This would seem to be an
eminently appropriate use of this hymn so closely asso-
ciated with the Protestant struggle and the Protestant
CHRISTIAN WAR HYMNS 197
The hymn has been translated into many languages
and is in wide use. There are a number of English transla-
tions, the most generally used of which is the one we have
given above from the pen of Miss Wink'worth.
A hymn which is a contrast to the battle hymn of the
Swedish king is Dr. Paul Eber's hymn, which he composed,
based on the words of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chron, 20 : 12).
There are a number of translations, but as is so often the
case, the favorite one which we give is that from the pen of
Miss Wink worth.
DR. PAUL eber's HYMN WHEN IN TROUBLE
When in the hour of utmost need
We know not where to look for aid;
When days and nights of anxious thought
Nor help nor counsel yet have brought:
Then this our comfort is alone,
That we may meet before Thy throne,
And cry, O faithful God, to Thee
For rescue from our misery:
To Thee may raise our hearts and eyes.
Repenting sore with bitter sighs,
And seek Thy pardon for our sin,
And respite from our griefs within.
For Thou hast promised graciously
To hear all those who cry to Thee,
Through Him whose name alone is great,
Our Saviour and our Advocate.
And thus we come, O God, tod,ay.
And all our woes l^efore Thee lay;
For tired, afflicted, lo! we stand,
Peril and foes on every hand.
1 98 FAVORITE HYMNS
Ah, hide not for our sins Thy face;
Absolve us through Thy boundless grace;
Be with us in our anguish still,
Free us at last from every ill.
That so with all our hearts may we
Once more with joy give thanks to Thee,
And walk obedient to Thy word,
And now and ever praise the Lord.
This hymn was founded on an earlier hymn in Latin by
Joachim Camerarius. This Latin original was the source
of special comfort to Melanchthon and probably also Dr.
Eber in 1546. It is stated that on Ascension Day, 1547,
after the battle of Miihlberg, the Wittenbergers having
received a message from the captive elector to deliver
their city to the emperor, Charles V, they assembled for
prayer in church. Bugenhagen's prayer on this occasion
which has been preserved greatly resembles Eber's hymn,
which, however, probably was not written until some time
later. It has been called a "cry from the depths," though
not in despair, but in trustful confidence in God. It is
one of the finest specimens of the hymns of the Reformation
period which have come down to us.
A writer of that period tells us how the singing of this
hymn and the prayers of Martin Rinkart, archdeacon of
Eulenberg, near Leipzig, prevailed to move the heart of
the Swedish lieutenant-colonel, who, on February 21, 1635,
had demanded an enormous ransom, but eventually ac-
cepted a few florins. In commemoration of a similar
deliverance from another army in 1642 the hymn was sung
at the end of the Sunday afternoon service at Pegau, near
Leipzig. Similar instances in the period following the
CHRISTIAN WAR HYMNS 199
Reformation were frequent. Thus we see the historic
significance as well as the peculiar appropriateness of this
hymn as a petition of believers in the time of trouble.
Under the imagery of war probably the best known and
most popular marching hymn of the Christian Church
has come to us from the pen of the Rev. S. Baring- Gould.
While not strictly a war hymn, it is given here as suggestive
of the good warfare which the Christian soldier should
wage. Of this hymn it has been said that it is one of the
few good hymns which have proven successful which have
been written to order, so to speak. It was written in
1865 for a special occasion. On Whitmonday the Sunday-
school children in the village where the author resided
were to march to an adjoining village. It was desired
that the children should sing while marching, but, not being
able to find anything to suit him, the minister sat up at
night, while others slept, and composed this hymn. Thirty
years after writing it he said, 'Tt was written in great haste,
and I am afraid some of the rhymes are faulty. Certainly
nothing has surprised me more than its popularity."
The splendid tune which Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan
has given to this hymn will alone immortalize his
With so much evil and world conflict about us the Chris-
tian Church, which at times may weary and become faint-
hearted, needs to catch the spirit of this optimistic battle
hymn of the Christian conflict. During a hard fought
battle between the French and the Austrians, an officer,
rushing up to the French commander, exclaimed, ''The
battle is lost!" The general quietly replied, "One battle
is lost, but there is time to win another." The general's
optimism brought victory. So it is in the Church, great
200 FAVORITE HYMNS
battles are to be fought in this twentieth century. If we
catch the spirit which led Baring-Gould to declare "the
Church of Jesus constant will remain" we will surely take
up his battle cry, ''On, then, Christian soldiers, on to vic-
Whatever we may think of cruel war, the warfare of
God's people for righteousness and for the triumph of the
cross we all approve. In this spirit we take as our battle
song the widely used and ever-popular hymn aptly called
THE MARCHING HYMN OF THE CHXJRCH
Onward, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war.
With the Cross of Jesus
Going on before.
Christ, the Royal Master,
Leads against the foe:
Forward into battle.
See His banners go.
Onward, Christian soldiers
Marching as to war,
With the Cross of Jesus
Going on before.
At the sign of triumph,
Satan's armies flee:
On, then. Christian soldiers,
On to victory.
Hell's foundations quiver,
At the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices.
Loud your anthems raise.
CHRISTIAN WAR HYMNS 20i
Like a mighty army,
Moves the Church of God:
Brothers, we are treading
Where the saints have trod.
We are not divided,
All one body we,
One in hope and doctrine,
One in charity.
What our Lord established
That we hold for true:
What the saints believed
That believe we too.
Long as earth endureth
Men that faith will hold —
Kingdoms, nations, empires,
In destruction rolled.
Crowns and thrones may perish,
Kingdoms rise and wane.
But the Church of Jesus
Constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never
'Gainst that Church prevail:
We have Christ's own promise.
And that cannot fail.
Onward, then, ye faithful,
Join our happy throng.
Blend with ours your voices,
In the triumph-song.
Glory, laud, and honor,
Unto Christ the King:
This, through countless ages,
Men and angels sing.
HYMNS OF THANKSGIVINKj
NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD
DOW thank we all our God,
With hearts and hands and voices,
r||||ii Who wondrous things hath done,
"sUflKl In whom His earth rejoices;
Who from our mothers' arms
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.
"Oh, may this bounteous God
Through all our hfe be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills.
In this world and the next.
"All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given,
The Son, and Him who reigns
With them in highest heaven;
The One eternal God,
Whom earth and heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore!"
Praise and thanksgiving enter largely into the Christian's
conception of worship. A hymn of thanksgiving for this
reason is at once accorded a favorable hearing.
The Harvest Festival is an ancient custom which has
HYMNS OF THANKSGIVING 203
come down from the Old Testament Church. It is held
m high favor and very generally observed. Our national
Thanksgiving is the product of our American national life.
Obedient to the command of Christ to "Render unto
Caesar the things that are Caesar's," the true Christian is
necessarily a good citizen. He, therefore, finds both re-
hgious and patriotic reasons for the expression of thanks
in respect to his spiritual and temporal blessings.
The note of praise and of thanksgiving sounds in harmony
with the proper expression of a true evangelical faith.
Hence the occasion is frequent when an evangelical Chris-
tian lifts heart and voice in thanksgi\'ing to God. Logic-
ally, therefore, Martin Rinkart's hymn, ''Nun danket
alle Gott," is a hymn which is widely known and a
general favorite. Perhaps this hymn is simg even more
frequently than is Luther's famous "Battle H\Tnn." It
finds an honored place in the service on all festival occa-
sions. Any Lutheran gathering can be safely asked to
sing this h}Tnn, for if they are without books the words
and melody are both printed on every mind.
Luther's great "Battle H}Tnn" is a hymn of combat and
of resolution to battle to the end. It inspires faith and
courage, elements greatly needed in the Christian life of
this day. This hymn of Martin Rinkart is rather an out-
burst of gratitude. The note of thanksgi\dng is so decided
as to give confidence, and, through a realization of past
achievements and blessings under God to undertake new
efforts and engage in further conflicts with increased faith
and renewed courage. Rightly understood, it is really a
fruitage of and a supplement to Luther's famous hymn.
How often we hear them in the same service !
This hymn, which has been popularly called the "Ger-
man Te Deum," is a metrical version or paraphrase of two
204 FAVORITE HYMNS
verses of Sirach (Sirach 50 : 24, 25), and of the "Gloria
Patri" in the third verse. It is generally believed to have
been written in the year 1644 in the prospect of the re-
establishment of peace. The regimental chaplains, when
holding special services of thanksgiving for the conclusion
of peace, were instructed to use this passage as their text.
This, by some, is supposed to have been the suggestion
to Rinkart of the writing of the hymn. A more recent
claim is made by an eminent hymnologist that the
hymn was written in 1630 as a hymn or prayer of
thanksgiving after meals, and especially intended for
Rinkart's children. The original manuscript of the
hymn is still in the possession of the descendants of
the author. Since 1648 it has been used as the German
Te Deum at all national festivals of war and peace. It
was sung by the army of Frederick the Great after the
Prussians had won the battle of Leuthen. During the
Franco-Prussian War it was sung constantly, and when
the history of the present war has been written we may
find that this hymn has played an important part in the
religious experience of many brave soldiers.
When the great and beautiful Cologne Cathedral was
consecrated this hymn had an important place in the
service. This was in 1880. When the Reichstag in Berlin
was begun Emperor WilUam laid the corner-stone and the
vast concourse of people sang "Nun danket alle Gott."
It is today found in every German hymn book and has
been translated and used in the hymn books of those
worshiping in many other tongues. There are a number of
English translations, that of Miss Winkworth being the
most popular. The hymn has found its way into a number
of hymnals of other churches, and is certain to grow in
favor and use as the years pass.
HYMNS OF THANKSGIVING 205
The author, Martin Rinkart, was bom at Eilenberg,
Saxony, April 23, 1586. When only fifteen years of age
he became a scholar and chorister in St. Thomas' School
at Leipsic. This made it possible for him to enter the
University of Leipsic, where he studied theology. He
served in several churches, one being near Eisleben,
finally landing in the to\Mi of his birth, where he died
December 8, 1649.
The greater part of his public life was passed during the
horrors of the Thirty Years' War. Eilenberg, where he
lived, suffered from pestilence and famine. History tells
us that the superintendent went aw^ay and would not
return. Pastor Rinkart in one day officiated at the
funerals of two of the resident pastors and two ministerial
refugees who had fled to Eilenberg because it was a walled
town. He was left as the sole pastor in the place. In
anticipation of peace he had reason to thank God. His
hymn is the outgrowth of his inner personal experience.
It is the word lived, expressed in his hymn. It is because
it expresses the personal experience of countless men and
women who have true faith in God that it is such a general
It is an evidence of the beauty and character of this
hymn to note that Mendelssohn introduces it into his
"Hymn of Praise." Like "A Mighty Fortress," it has
its own tune. It has been claimed that the melody which
is credited to Johann Criiger was adapted from a melody
by a Roman choirmaster by the name of Marenzo, but
more probably from a motet by Rinkart himself. There
is no convincing evidence for either claim. Whatever its
source, words and music belong together.
The author of this hymn, it is interesting to note,
was the author of seven dramas on the Reformation
2o6 FAVORITE HYMNS
period. The occasion for their preparation was the
centennial of the Reformation in 1617. These jubilees
should not only inspire us to use the grand treasures which
we possess; they should call forth the best in poetry,
music and service that is in us.
A really great hymn which deserves to be better
known and more generally used is Johann Franck's
"Herr Gott wir danken Dir." Miss Winkworth's
"Lord God, we worship Thee!
In loud and happy chorus,
We praise Thy love and power,
Whose goodness reigneth o'er us."
This hymn is one of several by the same writer which
have found their way into the English language and which
have met with favor in English worship.
Another hymn which is popular with our young people
and usually sung at Harvest Festivals comes from the pen
of an Episcopal clergyman, the Rev. Henry Alford, D. D.
We refer to the hymn —
Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home!"
The author of this hymn was a man of great learning.
His greatest achievement was not in hymnody, but in
his Greek Testament, upon which he spent fully twenty
years of labor. The most popular of his hymns is this
Harvest Hymn, which Christians of many creeds have
adopted and made their own.
FRANCIS SCOTT KEY
hyjmns of thanksgiving 207
We must also mention a hymn of Francis Scott Key,
who is known principally to Americans as the author
of the patriotic song, 'The Star-Spangled Banner,"
"Before the Lord we bow,
The God who reigns above,
And rules the world below,
Boundless in power and love.
Our thanks we bring
In joy and praise,
Our hearts we raise
To heaven's high King."
This is truly a national thanksgiving hymn, which prop-
erly belongs to all Christian citizens. It was written in
1832 and probably especially for the Fourth of July
celebration of that year. It therefore, in origin and in
contents, blends the Christian and national sentiment into
such a recognition of God as the Ruler, the Source of all
blessings and the object of worship, as to give it a place of
honor in any collection of hymns of thanksgi\dng and for
patriotic purposes. In an especial manner it should appeal
to Americans as a national birthday token to American
independence, which recognizes the real and ultimate source
of all ci\dl as well as religious liberty to be the Lord God
who reigns in the heavens and rules all the nations of the
CHE civil liberty, proclaimed by the ringing of the
^^ "Liberty Bell" at Independence Hall, Philadelphia,
jSS^ was an echo of the "Hammer Strokes" struck at
Wittenberg four centuries ago. "The Ninety-
five Theses" were the bold declarations of spiritual freedom
which prepared the way for the declaration of American
Naturally, therefore, Lutherans, by the very compulsion
of their religious liberty from the beginning of this country,
have been American patriots of the highest order. A
Lutheran minister reflected his Lutheran principles in
one of the most dramatic scenes of revolutionary times
when Rev. Peter Muhlenberg left his Lutheran pulpit at
Woodstock, Va., threw aside his Lutheran robe and stood
in full uniform as a Continental colonel, ready to lead his
Lutheran men, as one of the heroic supporters of General
Washington in the great war for American independence.
Another Lutheran minister, Frederick Augustus, and a
brother of the General, became a leader in civil affairs
and was the first Speaker of the House of Representa-
tives. A long line of equally patriotic Americans to the
present day have shown their true Lutheranism in loyalty
as citizens. Lutherans in many countries, under various
forms of government, true to scriptural principles, have
always been subject to the powers that be and have
cheerfully shown their loyalty to the government which
gives them their civil rights and protection.
PATRIOTIC HYMNS 209
We offer no apology, therefore, for Lutherans loving and
using, as occasion offers, the patriotic hymns which have
sprung from the life of the nation. Without exception
these hymns have a history of their own. To know that
history will help to understand their inner meaning and
increase their value to those who sing them. In this spirit
all good evangelical Christians will appropriate and use
the hymns which link national patriotism with Christian
faith and worship.
When we think of patriotic hymns that which first comes
to out minds is "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," the hymn
which by common consent is called "Our National An-
OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM
My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died.
Land of the Pilgrim's pride.
From every mountain side
Let freedom ring.
My native country, thee.
Land of the noble, free.
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze.
And ring from all the trees.
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake,
Let all that breathe partake,
Let rocks their silence break.
The sound prolong.
2IO FAVORITE HYMNS
Our fathers' God, to Thee,
Author of Hberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King.
The author of these words, the Rev. Samuel Francis
Smith, D. D., says of their origin: 'The song was written
at Andover during my student life there, I think in the
winter of 1 83 1-3 2 . It was first used pubHcly at a Sunday-
school celebration of July 4th, in the Park Street Church,
When we consider the popularity of this song and its
practically universal use, we can appreciate the lines of a
classmate of Dr. Smith, Oliver Wendell Holmes, who
"And there's a nice fellow of excellent pith.
Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith."
It is most interesting to note what Hezekiah Butter-
worth, a leading American hymnological authority, says
concerning this hymn and the tune to which we all sing it.
He says it was "written by Samuel Francis Smith while a
theological student at Andover, February 2, 1832. He had
before him several hymn and song tunes which Lowell
Mason had received from Germany, and, knowing young
Smith to be a good linguist, had sent to him for transla-
tion. One of the songs of national character struck
Smith as adaptable to home use if turned into American
words, and he wrote four stanzas of his own to fit the tune.
"Mason printed them with the music, and under his
SAMUEL FRANCIS SMITH
PATRIOTIC HYMNS 2il
magical management the hymn made its debut on a public
occasion in Park Street Church, Boston, July 4, 1832.
Its very simplicity, with its reverent spirit and easy-flowing
language, was sure to catch the ear of the multitude and
grow into familiar use with any suitable music; but it was
the foreign tune that, under Mason's happy pilotage,
winged it for the western world and launched it on its
The history of this tune is quite interesting. Several
volumes have been written to set forth its cosmopolitan
character, as also to prove it to be a Gregorian chant.
So far as its use in America is concerned its origin seems
reasonably clear. William C. Woodbridge, of Boston,
brought a copy of it with him from Germany. The Ger-
mans had been singing it for years to the words, *'Heil di
in siegel Kranz." It was by no means their own tune
exclusively. The Swiss also used it; so did the Swedes and
the Russians. It has been ascribed to a French composer
and has been traced to an old Scotch carol.
The probablity is that certain bars of music very similar
and possibly identical, when the plain song w^as the com-
mon style, were produced at different times and places,
and, ultimately, were merged into one complete tune.
Henry Carey, an English composer of the eighteenth
century, is generally credited with having, in 1740, first
rendered the melody as we now have it. The occasion
was a public dinner, given in honor of Admiral Vernon,
after his return from a victorous trip to Brazil.
The American use of it is clear. Woodbridge found it
in Germany, brought it to America, gave it to Mason, who
gave it to Smith, and Smith gave it, through his most
beautiful words, to the American people as their ''national
212 FAVORITE HYMNS
OUR NATIONAL HYMN
More purely religious and sung to the same tune, that
which is most frequently used in the services of the church,
is the following:
"God bless our native land!
Firm may she ever stand,
Through storm and night;
When the wild tempests rave,
Ruler of wind and wave,
Do Thou our country save
By Thy great might!
"For her our prayer shall rise
To God above the skies;
On Him we wait;
Thou who art ever nigh,
Guarding with v/atchful eye,
To Thee aloud we cry,
God save the state!"
It is a singular fact that this hymn has two authors.
Originally it was credited to J. S. D wight, but later claim
to authorship was also made by C. T. Brooks. It is now
generally credited to both. The fact seems to be that both
these writers translated it from the German. Several
similar translations are used in England, but claim to
authorship is also made by William Edward Hickson.
His translation, however, varies, and is not so good as that
which is credited as the American translation, but which
is growing in favor and in use in England.
There are various stories as to the authorship of the
music to which these words are sung. The melody itself
is stirring and the words so in harmony with Christian
patriotism as we use them in our American version in our
churches that they fittingly form a part of any patriotic or
national praise service.
PATRIOTIC HYMNS 213
THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER
Oh, say, can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming!
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On that shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes.
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep.
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
Its full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner; oh, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes, and the war's desolation!
Blest with \'ictory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just;
And this be our motto — 'Tn God is our trust";
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Often and rightly called our national anthem also,
Francis Scott Key's ''Star-Spangled Banner" was written
during the "War of 181 2." It was our last war with
England. Mr. Key had gone under a flag of truce to the
British flagship to secure the release of a friend. The
flagship was at the mouth of the Patapsco River. As
the British were preparing to attack Fort McHenry, lest
their plans should be disclosed, Mr. Key was forbidden
Being thus forced to witness the attack on his country's
flag, he paced the deck of the ship all through the night
of the bombardment. As day began to break he saw the
flag still flying at full mast over the fort, his patriotic
anxiety was so relieved that he exultantly dashed off the
lines as we now have them. He wrote them with a pencil
on the back of a letter. As soon as he was released he
took his lines to the city, and in a few hours they were
printed on small sheets and circulated and sung on the
streets to the air of "Anacreon in Heaven." This is the
tune to which the ''Star-spangled Banner" has ever since
It is interesting to note that the original flag which waved
over the fort and at which Key looked as he caught his in-
spiration in the gray dawn of that eventful morning, was
made and presented to the garrison by a fifteen-year-old
girl. She afterward became Mrs. Sanderson, of Balti-
more. The family still preserves this flag as a relic.
THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is tramping out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring
His day is marching on.
PATRIOTIC HYMNS 215
I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel;
''As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall
Let the hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel.
Since God is marching on."
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lihes Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
This hymn, which had its birth in the stirring times of
the war betw^een the North and the South, was the product
of the pen of a v.-ell-known woman, Julia Ward Howe.
Mrs. Howe visited the soldiers camped on the banks of the
Potomac in 1861. The story is that the trip fatigued her
greatly and that she slept very soundly. At daybreak
she awoke and through her mind there began to run the
lines of a hymn which promised to suit the measure of the
John BrowTi melody. The hymn was written out, after a
fashion, in the dark, by Mrs. Howe, who then again fell
The John Brown melody, which was caught from a
religious melody, or "Glory Hallelujah" re\dval hymn, w^as
very popular with the soldiers, who had begun to sing it at
Fort W^arren in Boston harbor, and had made it the march-
ing chorus of the northern armies. Mrs. Howe, through
her poem, has given to the country in the "Battle Hymn
of the Republic" a hymn which promises to run till battle
hymns cease to be sung.
HYMNS OF COMFORT
J^ HE fact that Christians are bidden to take up the
J^^ cross and follow after Christ is in itself an evidence
^^ that the trials which test faith are a blessing.
Man is born to trouble. No one escapes the cross.
Hence it is that the hymns which comfort and cheer are
hymns with a universal appeal.
The true attitude of a child of God in facing trial is
nowhere better expressed than it is in that beautiful
hymn so expressive of Christian faith and submission to
the will of God from the pen of Benjamin Schmolcke,
*'Mein Jesu, wie du willst." The hymn is based on St.
Mark 14 : 36. It is in very wide use in the German
churches, and has been translated by various writers,
finding special favor in American and English hymnals.
A most excellent translation, which, however, omits
several of the verses of the original, is that by Miss
MISS borthwick's translation of schmolcke 's hymn
My Jesus, as Thou wilt!
may Thy will be mine!
Into Thy hand of love
1 would my all resign.
Through sorrow or through joy.
Conduct me as Thine own,
And help me still to say,
My Lord, Thy will be done!
HYMNS OF COMFORT 217
My Jesus, as Thou wilt!
If needy here and poor,
Give me Thy people's bread,
Their portion rich and sure.
The manna of Thy word
Let my soul feed upon;
And if all else should fail,
My Lord, Thy will be done!
My Jesus, as Thou wilt!
Though seen through many a tear,
Let not my star of hope
Grow dim or disappear;
Since Thou on earth hast wept
And sorrowed oft alone,
If I must weep with Thee,
My Lord, Thy will be done!
My Jesus, as Thou wilt!
When death itself draws nigh,
To Thy dear wounded side
I would for refuge fly.
Leaning on Thee to go
Where Thou before hast gone:
The rest as Thou shalt please:
My Lord, Thy will be done!
My Jesus, as Thou wilt!
All shall be well for me:
Each changing future scene
I gladly trust with Thee,
Thus to my home above
I travel calmly on.
Yes, on Thee, my God, I rest,
Letting life float calmly on.
Benjamin Schmolcke was a Lutheran pastor at Brauchitz-
dorf in Silesia. He studied at Leipzig, where he supported
himself largely by the proceeds of occasional poems which
he wrote for wealthy citizens. In addition to the revenue
2i8 FAVORITE H\^MNS
he thus secured he was also honored for his poetry, being
crowned as a poet. Born in 1672, he was ordained in
1 701, becoming assistant to his father in the home church
at his native place.
A little of the history of the times in which Pastor
Schmolcke preached will help us to appreciate the words
of "My Jesus, as Thou wilt." The Counter-Reformation
in Silesia resulted in the taking from the Lutherans of all
the churches in the district in which he lived. Through
the Peace of Westphalia, in 1648, Lutherans were allowed
only one church in the whole district, and this church had
to be built of timber and clay and located outside of the
walls of the town. Three clergymen were attached to this
church. They had to serve the people of thirty-six
villages. They were also greatly restricted in their
labors. For example, they could not visit the sick and
give private communion without first securing permission
from the local Roman Catholic priest. What comfort
to people under such trials must Pastor Schmolcke's
"Hymn of Trust" have been!
A gem in the crown of that great German singer, Paul
Gerhardt, is one of the most precious hymns for those who
are in any trial. We refer to his "Befiehl du deine Wege."
Wesley's translation of gerhardt's hymn
Commit thoii all thy griefs
And ways into His hands,
To His sure truth and tender care,
Who earth and heaven commands:
Who points the clouds their course,
Whom winds and seas obey,
He shall direct thy wandering feet,
He shall prepare thy way.
HYMNS OF COMFORT 219
Thou on the Lord rely,
So safe shalt thou go on;
Fix on His work thy steadfast eye,
So shall thy work be done.
No profit canst thou gain
By self-consuming care;
To Him commend thy cause; His ear
Attends the softest prayer.
Thy everlasting Truth,
Father, Thy ceaseless love,
Sees all Thy children s wants, and knows
What best for each will prove.
And whatsoe'er Thou will'st,
Thou dost, O King of kings!
What Thy unerring wisdom chose,
Thy power to being brings.
Thou everywhere hast sway,
And all things serve Thy might;
Thy every act pure blessing is,
Thy path unsulHed hght.
When Thou arisest. Lord,
What shall Thy work withstand
When all Thy children want Thou giv'st;
Who, who, shall stay Thy hand?
An interesting note concerning this hymn is found in a
German school book called a "Short History of the
Evangelical Church hymns," published by Dr. Wangemann
in 1855, to the effect that Henr>^ Melchior ^luhlenberg,
patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America, used Ger-
hardt's "Befiehl du deine W^ege" in the service at the laying
of the corner-stone of the first Lutheran church in Phila-
delphia, May 2, 1743. It is also stated by the same
authority that shortly before Muhlenberg drew his last
breath, October 7, 1787, he prayed the last verse of this
!20 FAVORITE HYMNS
The original hymn is quite long. English congregations
do not take kindly to the singing of long hymns. For
this reason it is usually divided into parts in English
hymn books. It is interesting to note that this beautiful
hymn of trust from the pen of that great and prolific
German Lutheran bard, Paul Gerhardt, has come to us
via the pen of that great English Methodist, John Wesley,
whose translation is the one in general use.
A hymn of trust in God which the critics call "classical
and imperishable," which is only now coming into its
own among English worshipers, is George Neumark's
"Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten." A poet of no
mean ability, and a writer of many hymns, this, his finest
hymn, was born of a personal experience. It is entitled
a hymn of consolation, and expresses his faith in God
that He will care for and preserve His own in His own time.
It is the author's personal interpretation of the words of
the psalmist, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He
shall sustain thee."
Of the hymn which was written in December, 1641,
Neumark, the author himself, says that he wrote it at
Kiel, when, after unsuccessful attempts to secure employ-
ment, he became a tutor in the family of the judge, Stephan
Henning. He was so rejoiced over his good fortune that
he records that on the very day he secured the position
he composed the hymn to the honor of his beloved Lord
who had been so very good to him.
He had started from his home in Thuringia, where he
had been born March 16, 162 1, to travel with some mer-
chants to Koenigsberg, where he intended to enter the
university. The party was robbed en route. Young
Neumark was left with a very little money sewed in his
HYMNS OF COMFORT 221
clothing and his prayer-book. He tried to get employment
in JMagdeburg, Hamburg, and a number of other places,
and was really in destitute circumstances when, at Kiel,
through the influence of a friend, he secured the position
as a tutor that gave him his start and eventually made it
possible for him to secure the university education which
he sought. It is an illustration of that trusting faith
which looks to God for guidance and gives encouragement
to cast our every care upon Him, for He careth for us.
neumark's hymn of trust
If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He'll give thee strength, whate'er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days;
Who trusts in God's unchanging love
Builds on the rock that naught can move.
What can these anxious cares avail thee,
These never-ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help, if thou bewail thee
O'er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.
Only be still and wait His leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whate'er thy Father's pleasure
And all deserving love hath sent;
Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
To Him who chose us for His own.
All are alike before the Highest;
'Tis easy to our God, we know,
To raise thee up though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low;
True wonders still by Him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to naught.
222 FAVORITE HYMNS
Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
So do thine own part faithfully,
And trust His word, though undeserving,
Thou yet shall find it true for thee;
God never yet forsook at need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.
The translation which we have furnished is by Miss
Winkworth, who is one of the most prolific of translators
of German hymns into English. Miss Winkworth was
born in London. She was intensely interested in practical
work for women, and to develop an interest in their behalf
translated and published the "Life of Pastor Fliedner,"
the founder of the Sisterhood of Protestant Deaconesses,
at Kaiserswerth. While she did a splendid work in the
sphere of higher education for women, her monument is
found in the large contribution she has made to the treas-
ures of English hymnody by her numerous translations
of German hymns. Her translations are the most widely
used of any, and she has had much to do with the making
popular of German hymns in the worship of English
congregations. In this work she has rendered a perma-
nent service to the Christian church which cannot be
The aspiration of the Christian, as well as the hope which
sustains him in the valley of tribulation, finds expression in
a beautiful hymn by the Rev. Wm. Augustus Muhlenberg.
It is a hymn which gives strength for present trials by
pointing out the way through trials and the tomb through
Christ to fellowship and eternal presence with the saints
of the ages in the joys of everlasting fellowship with God.
Muhlenberg, in the stanzas of this hymn, pictures the
life that now is and the magnet of the life that is to be.
WILLIAM AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG
Hl^MNS OF COMFORT 223
"l WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY"
I would not live alway; I ask not to stay-
Where storm after storm rises dark o'er the way;
The few lurid mornings that dawn on us here
Are enough for life's woes, full enough for its cheer.
I would not live alway, thus fettered by sin;
Temptations without, and corruption within;
E'en the rapture of pardon is mingled with fears,
And the cup of thanksgiving with penitent tears.
I would not live alway; no, welcome the tomb;
Since Jesus hath lain there, I dread not its gloom;
There sweet be my rest, till He bid me arise,
To hail Him in triumph descending the skies.
Who, who would live alway, away from his God,
Away from yon heaven, that blissful abode,
Where the rivers of pleasure flow o'er the bright plains.
And the noontide of glory eternally reigns.
WTiere the saints of all ages in harmony meet,
Their Saviour and brethren, transported, to greet;
While the anthems of rapture unceasingly roll.
And the smile of the Lord is the feast of the soul?
This hymn had rather an unusual origin. A young
lady asked Dr. Muhlenberg to write a verse in her auto-
graph album. This was in 1824. He sat do"wn and dashed
off sLx eight-line verses, beginning, "I would not live alway."
The h>Tnn as we now" have it is the same in sentiment,
although he rcTNTote it a few years later, and gave it its
present perfect form when he was asked to contribute a
h>Tnn for publication in the Episcopal Recorder, where it
was first published, June 3, 1826. No credit was given to
the author with the original publication. It, however,
224 FAVORITE HYMNS
soon became known who wrote it, and the hymn itself
found its way quickly into a number of the standard
The words of this hymn have become inseparably
linked with the tune "Frederick," which was composed
and published by Mr. George Kingsley in 1833. Attempts
have been made to give the hymn another tune, but
words and melody so harmonize that the two are likely
to continue to be used together.
The author, a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal
Church, was a great-grandson of the Patriarch of the
Lutheran Church, Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. He was
a grandson of the First Speaker of the United States
House of Representatives, Frederick Augustus Muhlen-
berg. He was lost to the Lutheran Church through the
failure to provide English services when he was a boy.
He thus attended an Episcopal Sunday school, and
eventually became an Episcopal clergyman. He is known
chiefly as an eduactor and philanthropist. He wrote a
number of hymns. In addition to the above, perhaps his
best-known hymns are 'Xike Noah's weary dove" and
"Saviour, like a Shepherd lead us."
HYMNS CONCERNING DEATH AND BURIAL
USIC soothes; the message of the hymn comforts
and reaches the soul. Facing eternity, with the
grave opening, many have found in the words of
some appropriate hymn the thoughts which have
directed the mind, and in the melody the soothing of the
soul. The true Christian often will, as death approaches,
relive some of the happiest of his Christian experiences and
find in them exactly that which he needs to carry him
over the breakers on the bar into the depths of the joys of
the eternal, to which his soul is translated. For this very
reason messages which are found in many of the hymns of
the living are the stay of the soul when dying. An
incident will illustrate. The writer quoted in a Reforma-
tion address, some years ago, the words of that hymn of
**My Church! my Church! my dear old Church!
My fathers' and my own!
A lady in the audience impressed by it, secured the
book containing it, learned it and frequently sang it.
When English was introduced into her home church, she
saw to it that the book to be used contained this hymn.
Later, in a long illness which ended in her death, it was
the means of bringing comfort and staying the faith of
a patient sufferer who entered into life while those at her
bedside, at her request, were repeating the words from this
226 FAVORITE HYMNS
*'My Church! my Church! I love my Church!
For she doth lead me on
To Zion's palace beautiful,
Where Christ the Lord hath gone.
From all below she bids me go,
To Him, the Life, the Way,
The Truth, to guide my erring feet
From darkness into day.
Thus many hymns of Christian experience are especially
helpful for the dying, and comforting to the living who
mourn. But there are hymns which seem solely to be
messages of comfort for those who mourn the departure of
loved ones. Among these is one which was penned by a
woman, Margaret Mackay, which will be the very first
to come into the minds of most people as a hymn of this
A woman's hymn concerning death
Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep.
From which none ever wakes to weep:
A calm and undisturbed repose.
Unbroken by the last of foes.
Asleep in Jesus! oh, how sweet
To be for such a slumber meet;
With holy confidence to sing
That death has lost his venomed sting.
Asleep in Jesus! peaceful rest,
Whose waking is supremely blest:
No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour
That manifests the Saviour's power.
Asleep in Jesus! oh, for me
May such a blissful refuge be!
Securely shall my ashes lie.
And wait the summons from on high.
HYMNS CONCERNING DEATH AND BURIAL 227
The hymn which appeared first in ''The Amethyst;
or, Christian Annual," for 1832, was occasioned by the
author, Mrs. Mackay, of Hedgefield, England, reading an
inscription on a tombstone in a rural burying-ground in
Devonshire. Later, in writing concerning her verses, the
writer says, the burying-ground referred to is that of
Pennycross Chapel. It is a few miles distant from a
busy seaport, and is reached by a succession of lovely
green lanes. The quiet aspect of the Pennycross "God's
Acre" comes soothingly over the mind, suggesting at once
the thought of ''Sleeping in Jesus." Certainly the thought,
which is the thought of Christ and strictly biblical, is
beautifully emphasized for the comforting of countless
mourning ones, as well as for the staying of the souls of
many as they are about to fall into that sleep which knows
no earthly awakening.
Another beautiful hymn, which is primarily a hymn for
Easter and is included in various collections of Easter
hymns, but which is a most comforting message for those
who are in the valley of the shadow of death, is also
credited to the pen of a w^oman. It comes to us from that
rich storehouse of hymnology, the German. The hymn
was written in 1653, and mil have added interest after
the story of the author is known.
GERAIAN woman's HYMN OF DEATH AJO) LITE
Jesus Christ, my sure defence
And my Saviour, ever liveth;
Knowing this, my confidence
Rests upon the hope it giveth,
Though the night of death be fraught
Still with many an anxious thought.
228 FAVORITE HYMNS
Jesus, my Redeemer, lives!
I, too, unto life must waken;
He will have me where He is:
Shall my courage, then, be shaken?
Shall I fear? Or could the Head
Rise and leave its members dead?
Nay, too closely am I bound
Unto Him by hope forever;
Faith's strong hand the Rock hath found,
Grasped it, and will leave it never:
Not the ban of death can part
From its Lord the trusting heart.
What now sickens, mourns and sighs,
Christ with Him in glory bringeth;
Earthy is the seed that dies.
Heavenly from the grave it springeth.
Natural is the death we die,
Spiritual our life on high.
Saviour, draw away our heart,
Now from pleasures base and hollow,
Let us there with Thee have part,
Here on earth Thy footsteps follow.
Fix our hearts beyond the skies,
Whither we ourselves would rise.
The translation v/hich we have given was made by Miss
Winkworth in 1862, and is one of the many rich additions
to English hymnody which have come from German sources
from the facile pen of the ready translator who dearly
loved the devotional and spiritual hymns of the Germans —
Miss Catherine Winkworth.
Louise Henriette, electress of Brandenburg, to whom
HYMNS CONCERNING DEATH AND BURIAL 229
this hymn is credited, was a beautiful character. She was
the daughter of the Prince of Nassau-Orange of the
United Netherlands, and was born near The Hague,
November 27, 1627. She married the Elector Friederich
Wilhelm of Brandenburg in 1646. On July 11, 1657, she
became the mother of a son who afterward became King
Friederich I of Prussia. A woman of noble character, a
member of the Reformed Church, who earnestly desired
to cultivate peace and fellowship with the Lutherans, and
a special friend of Paul Gerhardt, she busied herself in the
work of her husband and proved a true mother to her
people. The hymn above, together with a number of
others, was published through her efforts in a Union Hymn
Book, by Christoph Runge. To this book she contributed
four hymns. Runge, in his dedication of the book to her,
says she had ' 'augmented and adorned it with your own
hymns." While some have thought that these were
merely hymns which she loved and which had been placed
in the book at her request, yet in view of Runge's state-
ment and the lack of any evidence of other authorship, and
her own beautiful character and personal talents, this
hymn, w^hich is given place among the hymns of first rank,
promises to continue to be recognized as the work of the
devout electress of Brandenburg.
Paul Gerhardt has given us a beautiful hymn of the
heavenly spirit which makes us, as pilgrims and strangers,
feel a longing for the ''eternal joys before." Written in
1666, and widely used by Germans, the hymn, as translated
by Jane Borthwick in 1858, has found great favor with
English-speaking Christians. It is used on various
230 FAVORITE HY:MNS
gerhardt's "ich bin ein cast auf erden"
A pilgrim and a stranger,
I journey here below;
Far distant is my country,
The home to which I go.
Here I must toil and travail.
Oft weary and opprest,
But there my God shall lead me
To everlasting rest.
There still my thoughts are dwelling,
'Tis there I long to be:
Come, Lord, and call Thy servant
To blessedness with Thee!
Come, bid my toils be ended.
Let all my wanderings cease;
Call from the wayside lodging
To the sweet home of peace!
There I shall dwell forever,
No more a stranger guest,
With all Thy blood-bought children,
In everlasting rest;
The pilgrim toils forgotten,
The pilgrim conflicts o'er,
All earthy griefs behind us,
Eternal joys before!
Perhaps the chief hymn of the Latin Church is the
''Hora Novissima," by Bernard of Cluny. He named it
^'De Contemptu Mundi" ("Concerning Disdain of the
World"). Ordinarily it is broken up into three distinct
portions and treated as if each part were a distinct and
separate hymn. The first portion is expressive of the
contempt of this world. The second portion is the real
"Laus Patriae Coelestis." Divided, it gives us the two
H\^MNS CONCERNING DEATH AND B UREAL 231
hymns which are the best legacy to Christendom which
we have from Bernard of Climy. The author, the son
of English parents, was born at MorlaLx, France, about
1 100. He is called Bernard of Cluny because he Uved
and wTote in a French town by that name. The trans-
lator, who has condensed the original very gracefully,
was Dr. John Mason Neale. The most familiar and most
widely used portion is "Jerusalem the Golden," which has
its o'WTi distinctive tune, written by Alexander Ewing, a
paymaster in the English army.
THE FAVORITE PORTION OF "hORA NOVTSSIMA"
Jerusalem, the golden,
With milk and honey blest!
Beneath thy contemplation
Sink heart and voice opprest:
I know not, oh, I know not,
What social joys are there!
What radiancy of glor>%
What light beyond compare!
And when I fain would sing them
My spirit fails and faints,
And vainly would it image
The assembly of the saints.
They stand, those halls of Zion,
Conjubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel,
And all the martyr throng.
There is the Throne of David;
And there, from care released,
The song of them that triumph.
The shout of them that feast;
And they who, with their Leader,
Have conquered in the fight,
Forever and forever
Are clad in robes of white!
"j^^ HERE are several general favorites among English
^m^ hymns which are used by practically all Chris-
^^ tians. We know the hymns so well that we forget
the writers and merely appropriate and sing what
they wrote. We refer to the hymns — "Jesus, Lover of
My Soul," "Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me," and "Nearer my
God to Thee."
It has been said of the hymn, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul,"
that it is the masterpiece of Charles Wesley, and that if
"this were the only hymn he ever wrote, and the only ser-
vice he ever rendered to humanity, it is sufficient to im-
mortalize his name."
A beautiful story is told concerning the origin of this
hymn. Mr. Wesley was standing before the open window
of his room one morning. He was looking out over the
beautiful landscape which was in front of his home. As
he looked he saw a little song bird which was being chased
by a cruel hawk. The poor bird was badly frightened,
and seeing the open window, flew through it and directly
into Mr. Wesley's arms. With fluttering heart and quiv-
ering wing it nestled close to the singer and escaped a
cruel death in the talons of the hawk. According to the
story, Mr. Wesley himself was just then having some
personal trials and was feeling the need of a refuge just as
the little bird, which had flown into his bosom for protecr
tion. Out of this incident, and his personal experience,
GENERAL FAVORITES 233
he took up his pen and produced the masterpiece of his
The hymn was first pubUshed in 1740, in ''Wesley's
Hymns and Sacred Poems." It has found its way into
nearly every evangelical hymn book of the present day.
In its wide use it is an example of the "communion of
saints" which we confess in the Creed.
Wesley's hymn which points to christ as saviour
Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll.
While the tempest still is high!
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
O receive my soul at last!
Other refuge have I none;
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee:
Leave, ah, leave me not alone.
Still support and comfort me!
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring:
Cover my defenceless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want;
More than all in Thee I find:
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name;
I am all unrighteousness:
False and full of sin I am;
Thou art full of truth and grace.
234 FAVORITE HYMNS
Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the Fountain art,
Freely let me take of Thee:
Spring Thou up within my heart,
Rise to all eternity.
An interesting incident is recorded concerning this hymn
which should, if that is possible, increase our appreciation
of it as a hymn of faith and consolation in times of tempta-
tion and of trouble. A United Presbyterian clergyman
was serving under the Christian Commission during the
"War between the States." His duties took him out
on the battlefield after the day's fighting was done. Here
he came across a dying soldier, and asked him if he could
do anything for him. He ministered to his physical
wants and relieved him in every way possible. He asked
if he could do anything more. The dying soldier said,
"Please sing to me 'Jesus, Lover of My Soul.' " Although
belonging to a Church that never sang hymns, he could
not refuse the request of the dying soldier. Softly and
tenderly he sang as he never sang before, with the thought
that his singing was comforting a human soul in its ex-
tremity. The account says: "As the words floated out
in the darkness, where the dead and the wounded lay,
a strange quiet, like that of a great benediction, fell upon
the earth, and the dying man clasped the hand of the
singer with a heart full of gratitude. And he sang on:
" 'Hide me, my Saviour, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
O receive my soul at last!' "
GENERAL FAVORITES 235
"With the closing strains there seemed to come a sweet
peace over the dread battle plain. The soldier relaxed his
grasp; the prayer was heard."
The effect of the singing on the battlefield that night
awakened this thought in the heart of that minister — if
this hymn will do to die by, it will do to live by. It was
in his after ministry a chief source for bringing comfort
to dying souls. Its heart appeal and its implicit faith
make it a hymn which belongs to every true child of God.
That great German Lutheran theologian, Tholuck,
once exclaimed to a class of his students, "I have but one
passion. It is He! It is He!" That is the inner spirit
of this hymn from the pen of Wesley. This explains why
this hymn of the Methodist has been adopted and found
such a large place in the hearts of the people of all evan-
THE REFUGE OF THE SINNER
In the year of American Independence, the March
number of The Gospel Magazine contained a very remark-
able article. It was called, "A Remarkable Calculation:
Introduced here for the sake of the spiritual improvement
subjoined Questions and Answers relative to the National
Debt." In this article, by numerical calculations, man's
sins are shown to be very numerous. By a most ingenious
calculation, on the basis of so many sins per day, per hour
and minute, the argument comes to a climax in overwhelm-
ing him with his frightful helplessness if he were to redeem
himself from his debts. The purpose is to show the un-
speakable value of Christ's atonement. Then follows as
a "living and dying prayer for the holiest believer in the
world," this hymn, which, because it so well expresses the
236 FAVORITE HYMNS
feeling of every true Christian, has found a place not only
at the close of this unique article, but in nearly every
evangelical hymn book published.
"rock of ages"
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee!
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the perfect cure,
Save me, Lord, and make me pure.
Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law's demands:
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow.
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone!
Nothing in my hand I bring.
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the Fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die!
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyelids close in death.
When I soar to worlds unknown.
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me.
Let me hide myself in Thee!
The author was Augustus M. Toplady. He was or-
dained a minister of the Church of England when he was
only twenty-two years of age. He died when he was only
thirty-eight years old. If he had done nothing more than
GENERAL FAVORITES 237
write this one hymn his life would have been richly fruit-
ful and a real blessing to the cause of Christianity. The
exact date of the writing of the hymn is not known. It
was first published in its complete form, as we now have
it and use it, in March, 1776.
A most interesting story is told concerning its origin,
through which the author and the hymn are very closely
associated with Wesley, the great hymn writer. Ac-
cording to the story, Wesley, the Methodist, and Toplady,
the Anglican churchman, met and were drawn into a very
heated argument over some current theological questions.
They argued until long after midnight. Neither yielded
a point. When they separated Toplady was wrought
up to a high state of spiritual excitement.
Not being able to sleep, he sat and thought. In a
moment of exultation the words of this hymn began to
run through his mind. He took a piece of paper and began
to write. Before dawn he had produced this his master
hymn and the one product of his mind which will perpet-
uate his name and memory in the Evangelical Church.
Under the thought of that earlier hymn, ''Jesus, Lover
of My Soul," and the newer, "Rock of Ages," even if
the authors did engage in fruitless controversy, there is a
unity of faith which places the hymns of the theological
contenders side by side in nearly every evangelical hymn
book. We have here a fresh proof of the truth of that
which we confess in our Apostles' Creed, namely, "I believe
in the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints."
England's great premier, Mr. Gladstone, counted this
his favorite hymn. He translated it into both Greek
and Italian. It is said concerning his Italian trans-
lation that on a certain occasion a most bitter at-
tack was made on him in the House of Commons.
238 FAVORITE HYMNS
While his opponent spoke most bitterly and vehemently,
others noticed that Mr. Gladstone was writing very
diligently. They supposed he was writing notes and
framing a reply. One sitting near him, curious to learn
how he could retain such a calm demeanor while being so
bitterly attacked, looked over his shoulder and discovered
that he was writing an Italian translation of Toplady's
hymn. As a matter of interest, we quote the first stanza
of Mr. Gladstone's Italian translation:
"Jesus, pro me perforatus,
Condar, intra tuum latus,
Tu per lympham profluentum,
In peccatti mi redunda
Tulle culpam, sordes, munda!
A missionary who wished to have this hymn translated
into the dialect of one of the Hindu tribes was not so
fortunate. He secured a Hindu scholar, and asked him
to translate it. The Oriental began his translation, which,
of course, was a failure, as follows:
'Very old stone, split for my benefit,
Let me get under one of your fragments.
While speaking of the missionary use of this hjnnn, it is
reported by one of the missionaries to the suffering people
of Armenia, that he was deeply impressed when he heard
an Armenian congregation singing ''Rock of Ages" in
their language. The people sang with tears in their eyes
and seemed to feel the force of the words to an unusual
Another missionary story of this hymn comes from the
royal palace of Queen Victoria, and occurred during the
AUGUSTUS M. TOPLADY
GENERAL FAVORITES 239
time of the Golden Jubilee of her reign. A native of
Madagascar presented himselt and delivered the greetings
of his people. He then asked the privilege of singing.
Naturally the court expected him to sing one of their
native songs. Instead, however, the privilege being
granted, he sang in a most touching manner, Toplady's
"Rock of Ages." His whole attitude was as if he felt that
the truth of this hymn had brought the blessing to his
life which made him what he was.
When we understand that Christ is our Rock; that the
rock suggests strength, solidity, power, majesty, per-
manency, then we find the secret of the universal hold
which this hymn has on the minds and hearts of Chris-
An ill-fated steamer went down in a turbulent sea.
The passengers were clinging to life-preservers and wreck-
age. A young wife said to her husband, "I can hold on
no longer." Her husband replied, "Try a little longer, and
let us sing, 'Rock of Ages.' " They sang, others joined in
the singing. From amid the perilous waters rose this
sweet, pleading prayer:
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee!
The song inspired the singers, heartened them so that
they held on till the life-savers from the shore reached
and saved them. Many besides the husband and wife
owed their physical lives to the sweet notes of Toplady's
"Rock of Ages."
The circumstances of the first publication of these
verses justify the spiritualizing of this incident from the
stormy sea. Without a doubt thousands have been
240 FAVORITE HYMNS
directed for their salvation to the only Rock which will
protect them from the stormy billows of sin and tempta-
tion which would otherwise overwhelm and destroy
When we study the meaning and get into the heart of
the great hymns of the Church, learn the motive for their
production and the spirit in which they have been used,
we begin to realize the richness and the blessing for true
worship found in the hymns of the sanctuary.
NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE
For many years this hymn has been a general favorite.
It rivals "J^sus, Lover of My Soul" and "Rock of Ages"
for popularity among all classes of people in all parts of
the world. The secret of its popularity lies in the fact
that the hymn appeals so strongly to the human heart.
It is of special interest to note that the author of this
hymn, Mrs. Sarah Fuller Adams, was a Unitarian. She
was the daughter of Benjamin Flower and his wife, who was
before their marriage Miss Eliza Gould. Mr. Flower was
an editor, who wrote a series of articles in which he defended
the French Revolution. The House of Lords took offence
at the articles. He was fined and sent to Newgate Prison
for six months. Miss Gould, who spent her time visiting
prisoners, ministering to their temporal and spiritual wel-
fare, made his acquaintance during the time he was in
prison. The acquaintance ripened into love and terminated
in their marriage. They had two daughters, one of whom
was the author of "Nearer, My God, to Thee."
A political offence thus became the occasion which
established the home in which was reared the Unitarian
author of a hymn of which a leading hymnologist has
GENERAL FAVORITES 241
said, ''It has become a classic in hymnology and is uni-
versally beloved and approved by all branches of the
Mrs. Adams, who was born at Great Harlow, Essex,
England, in 1805, very early in life gave evidence of un-
usual literary talent, writing many essays and poems.
She also displayed dramatic talent and at one time con-
templated becoming an actress, but fortunately did not
carry out her impulse.
Her fame today rests on this hymn, which she wrote
after her marriage to Mr. William B. Adams, who was a
civil engineer and journalist, living in London. The
hymn was first published by her pastor in 184 1. It was
included in a volume of "Hymns and Anthems" to which
Mrs. Adams contributed thirteen poems. Of these
"Nearer, My God, to Thee" is the only one which re-
mains in general use.
MRS. ADAMS' ^NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE"
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me;
Still, all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Though, like a wanderer,
The sun gone down.
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone,
Yet in my dreams I'd be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
242 FAVORITE HYMNS
There let my way appear
Steps unto heaven;
All that Thou sendest me
In mercy given;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Then with my waking thoughts
Bright with Thy praise.
Out of my stony griefs
Bethel I'll raise;
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Or if on Joyful wing
Cleaving the sky.
Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
Upward I fly;
Still, all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
The tune to which this hymn is sung and which is a
large factor in its wide popularity, is from the pen of Dr.
Mason, who was also the composer of the * 'Missionary
Hymn," which is inseparably linked with Bishop Heber's
great popular hymn, "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."
The tune is known by the name ''Bethany."
At a great jubilee in Boston in 1872 "Nearer, My God,
to Thee" was sung to this tune. The singing was led by a
group of renowned musical artists and listened to by Dr.
Mason, the author of the music. This occurred a few
weeks before the venerable musician died. The singing
made a profound impression.
GENERAL FAVORITES 243
There are some most interesting stories told which
illustrate the universal familiarity of people with this
A group of tourists, on a certain August day, found the
top of Pike's Peak enveloped in mist. For an hour or
more they gathered around the fire in the block-house to
keep warm and tried to get acquainted. After several
attempts to sing ''popular songs," which only a few knew,
someone started to sing "Nearer, My God to Thee."
All joined in the singing and all felt at home. As the
singing ended the mists suddenly rolled away and with
joy a happy body of tourists rushed out to look upon a
most wonderful view.
Some travelers in Palestine as they journeyed heard
snatches of the tune "Bethany." Drawing nearer to the
place whence the sound came, they saw a group of Syrian
students singing "Nearer, My God, to Thee" in Arabic.
These youthful natives using strange words but a familiar
tune, and singing with so much feeling, made a deep im-
pression on the minds of those tourists, who, through the
singing in the strange tongue of the well-known tune, gave
a vocal realization, so to speak, of the communion of
Another tourist in the Holy Land tells of his visit to the
site of "Jacob's Ladder." He says: "As we stood there,
where heaven had once come so near to earth, there was
not one in all our large party who did not share, in some
degree, in that ladder vision which Jacob had; and you
will not be surprised to know that we fell into such a mood
that, without a word of suggestion, all sang together
with deepest feeling, 'Nearer, My God to Thee.* Who
can say that Jacob's vision did not become ours as we
softly chanted the trustful, prayerful words?"
244 FAVORITE HYMNS
The testimony of a prominent chaplain during the
Spanish-American War was that in his services as chaplain
on ships and in camps and in the hospitals the men al-
ways entered most heartily into the singing of this hymn.
Men who were rough and ready, and even profane, would
join with their more religious comrades in the singing of
many of the hymns, and especially when * 'Nearer, My
God, to Thee" was sung.
At the time of the terrible Johnstown flood, in 1889,
a most pathetic incident occurred. Imprisoned in the
wreckage of a train there was a woman missionary who
was en route for the mission fields. She was pinioned
between seats and in view of many people who could
not reach and save her because of the raging waters, which
gradually rose, making certain her death. She was seen
to pray, then she began to sing "Nearer, My God to Thee."-
The people listened breathlessly. Before the last words
of the hymn had been sung the voice was stilled. The
singer finished the last notes beyond the skies.
The late King Edward of England said of this hymn
that ''among serious hymns there is none more touching,
nor one that goes more truly to the heart." It was also
the favorite hymn of the late President McKinley. His
last intelligible words, spoken just before his soul took its
flight, were: " 'Nearer, my God, to Thee, e'en though it be
a cross,' has been my constant prayer."'
This fact caused the use of the hymn not only at his
funeral in Canton, Ohio, but at memorial services all over
this country and at special memorial services abroad, espe-
cially in Westminster Abbey, by order of King Edward,
who listened devoutly while the whole notable assem-
blage joined in the singing of "Nearer, My God, to
GENERAL FAVORITES 245
The story comes from the sea in the account of the sink-
ing of that giant ship, "The Titanic," that when the
"imsinkable" ship was found to be doomed the band began
to play "Nearer, My God, to Thee." They continued to
play until there was a deafening roar. A mighty wave had
engulfed the great ship. The players had gone to meet
Mrs. Adams was a Unitatian, and popular as her hymn
is, critical analysis of the thought in it has made many feel
that the emphasis is incorrectly placed. For this reason,
at various times, WTiters have attempted to re\4se the
In discussing a number of hymns before a class of theo-
logical students, the Rev. Dr. H. E. Jacobs, in 1887,
pointed out the respects in which Mrs. Adams' hymn was
not as expressive as it should be. The class showed in-
terest, and the result was the writing of another h}Tnn,
which was first published in The Indicator, of the Phila-
delphia Theological Seminary in January, 1889. This
special version of "Nearer, My God, to Thee" has found
its way into several h^Tun books, notably the new Lutheran
"Common Ser\^ce Book." It is sung, however, not to
Dr. Mason's "Bethany," but to the tune "Kedron,"
by A. B. Spratt. Just for the purpose of comparison we
append this second "Nearer, My God to Thee."
DR. JACOBS' NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE
Nearer, my God to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Through Word and Sacrament,
Thou com'st to me.
Thy grace is ever near,
Thy Spirit ever here,
Drawing to Thee.
246 FAVORITE HYMNS
Ages and ages rolled,
Ere earth appeared,
Yet Thine unmeasured love
The way prepared;
Long hast Thou yearned for me,
That I might nearer be,
Nearer to Thee!
Thy Son has come to earth.
My sin to bear,
My every wound to heal,
My pain to share.
"God in the flesh" for me.
Brings me now nearer to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
Lo! all my debt is paid,
My guilt is gone.
See! He has risen for me,
My throne is won.
Thanks, O my God, to Thee!
None now can nearer be,
Nearer to Thee!
Welcome then to Thy home.
Blest One in Three,
As Thou hast promised, come!
Come, Lord, to me!
Work Thou, O God, through me,
Live Thou, O God, in me.
Ever in me!
Surely it matters not
What earth may bring.
Death is of no account,
Grace will I sing.
Nothing remains for me,
Save to be nearer Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
THE TE DEUM, A GREAT INTERNATIONAL
CHE most famous h>Tnn of the Church is that great
hymn which is a confession in song and which has
gggg come do-^Ti to us from the fourth century,
namely, the Te Deum, written by Ambrose,
Bishop of Milan, A. D. 387.
Tradition brings to us an interesting story of the birth
of the Te Deum. According to this tradition it was
composed on Easter Sunday, the honor of its composition
being divided in the tradition between Ambrose and his
eminent convert, Augustine.
According to the story it was the day when the bishop
baptized Augustine in the presence of a vast congregation
that crowded the Basilica of Milan. With a prophetic
vision, realizing the eminent career which was before the
candidate for baptism as one of the ruling stars of Chris-
tendom, Ambrose lifted his hands to heaven and chanted
in a holy rapture —
"We praise Thee, O God! We acknowledge Thee to be the
All the earth doth worship Thee, the Father everlasting.
As he paused from the lips of the convert Augustine
came the response —
"To Thee, all the angels cry aloud: the heavens and all the
To Thee cherubim and seraphim continually do cry,
'Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory!' "
248 FAVORITE HYMNS
In this manner the two continued until stave by stave,
in alternating strains from the Hps of these two, Ambrose
and Augustine, there sprang on that Easter Day from
the lips of Ambrose and Augustine, the great "Te
Deum," the unquestioned standard anthem of Christian
Whether this is only tradition or the actual story of the
manner in which this great hymn came into being we do
not know. Excellent and reliable authorities question its
probability. The tradition nevertheless adds a charm to
the prevalent use w^hich brings out with greatest effect
both the music and the meaning when the hymn is sung
Antiphonal singing compels attention and participation
and adds beauty and impressiveness to the many chants
of the church. This ancient method of singing is again
coming into favor in an increasing number of the churches.
The practice dignifies w^orship and adds a charm to the
singing which carries choir and congregation together to
the loftiest heights nearest to God which are the privilege
of those who still abide in the flesh. How thankful we
should be that it is our privilege to make use of this
ancient method of chanting the praises of God.
Commenting on the traditional story of the writing of the
Te Deum, Hezekiah Butterworth, an eminent authority,
says, ''Whatever the foundation of the story, we may at
least suppose the first public singing of the great chant to
have been associated with the baptism of Augustine."
We see in this tradition and evidence of fact, new sig-
nificance for the Te Deum as a special anthem for Easter
and other Festival occasions. The real beauty and ef-
fectiveness of much that is used in worship is only fully
appreciated when we associate its use with its origin and
THE TE DEUM— INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM 249
observe the times and seasons in making words, melody
and occasion blend in complete harmony.
The wide use of the Te Deum is evidenced by the numer-
ous translations into many languages, including not only
English and German, but also French, Russian and other
tongues, so that it may be said of the Te Deum, like it was
of the Gospel on the Day of Pentecost, that it is heard by
men of all nationalities in their own tongues in which they
It is well said of the Te Deum that it is the most Catholic
of hymns, one of the oldest and one of the most univer-
sally used by the entire Western Church. What the
National hymn is to America the Te Deum is to Chris-
tendom, a hymn known and loved and used as a great
confessional hymn of loyalty by men of all varying forms
The Te Deum was chanted at the baptism of Clovis;
it was sung at Queen Victoria's great Jubilee, as also at
the coronation of Czar Nicholas II, at Moscow, Russia.
Since the beginning of the sixth century it has been espe-
cially assigned as a hymn for regular use in the Sunday
morning service, a distinction which is peculiar to this
hymn which is also especially set apart as the supreme
expression of the overflowing gratitude of the human
In the Roman Catholic Church the ritual expressly
prescribes that the Te Deum must be sung at the con-
secration of a bishop, the coronation of a king and the
consecration of a virgin, the election of a pope, the canon-
ization of a saint, the publication of a treaty of peace or
of an alliance in favour of the church. These latter uses
indicate the manner in which the Roman church intrigues
in civil affairs at the same time that they reflect the
250 FAVORITE HYMNS
character and value of this great and ancient hymn of the
Protestant countries have of their own volition, without
ecclesiastical decree recognized the merit of this great
hymn by using it in connection with the coronation of
Protestant rulers, as also as a song of thanksgiving on the
occasion of great victories, such, for example, as Agincourt
and Waterloo. The fact that the lofty expressions of
praise and thanksgiving of the Te Deum, used in national
festivals as the full-hearted expression of a nation's trust
and faith and gratitude in so many instances and on so
many occasions, is striking proof of the communion of
saints, as it is so beautifully linked with our confession of
faith in the church itself in the language of the Apostles'
The use of such a hymn on every occasion is not proper.
It is travesty on praise and faith to use it as a sort of
Christian war-whoop over fallen foes, as Napoleon used
it when he came fresh from the massacres of the Bouevards,
and as it was chanted at Rome in honor of the massacre of
St. Bartholomew. This incident suggests the words of
the ancient heathen poet —
"Unholy is the sound
Of loud thanksgiving over slaughtered men."
May it never again be sung because of triumphs of
armies on fields of blood; but instead may the whole world
sing this international anthem of thanksgiving to God for
His influence in making the nations of the world to be at
peace and to have the principle of Divine Love emphasized
in a universal brotherhood which will overcome all inter-
national hatreds and make war impossible. What a
THE TE DEUM— INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM 251
Te Deum would this be echoing around the world and
mingling the voices of millions in thousands of tongues
singing the International Anthem of praise in a chorus so
large and loud as to echo and re-echo through all heaven.
What a Te Deum, the climax of song which has blended
in one through ages the voice of prayer and praise from the
lips of believing men and women, and sent it ringing
through the arches of the temples of men on earth and
re-echoing through the heaven of heavens as the mighty
sound of sweetest harmony to the ear of a listening God.
"the te deum laudamus"
We praise Thee, O God: we acknowledge Thee to be the
All the earth doth worship Thee: the Father everlasting.
To Thee all Angels cry aloud: the heavens, and all the
To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim: continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy: Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty: of Thy Glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles: praise Thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets: praise Thee.
The noble army of Martyrs: praise Thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world: doth acknowl-
The Father: of an infinite Majesty;
Thine adorable, true: and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost: the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory: O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son: of the Father.
When Thou tookest upon Thee to deHver man: Thou didst
humble Thyself to be born of a Virgin.
When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death:
Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God: in the glory of the
We believe that Thou shalt come: to be our Judge.
252 FAVORITE HYMNS
We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants: whom Thou
hast redeemed with Thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with Thy saints: in glory ever-
O Lord, save Thy people: and bless Thine heritage.
Govern them: and hft them up for ever.
Day by day: we magnify Thee.
And we worship Thy Name: ever, world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord: to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us: have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let Thy mercy be upon us: as our trust is in Thee.
O Lord, in Thee have I trusted: let me never be confounded.
The hymns which we sing are a most important element
in worship, the use of which is one of the blessed fruits
of the evangelical principles of worship which have come
to us as one of the results of the great Reformation of
the sixteenth century. Samuel Taylor Coleridge says,
"Luther did as much for the Reformation by his hymns as
by his translation of the Bible." Of course, the hymns of
the church cannot take the place of the Word of God,
but they stand only second to it. Indeed, through them
some of the most precious truths of the Scriptures are
sung into the hearts and the lives of Christian people.
If our readers will have learned to sing the hymns of the
Church with more thought as to their contents; to select
those w^hich they use with greater regard to their meaning
and association, and wath a fuller realization of their power
to lift the soul up to God and to impress upon heart,
mind and soul the blessing of God which rests upon those
who worship Him in sincerity and truth, our labor of love
in writing of some of the great favorites among the hymns
of the church will have its reward in the more intelligent
and effective use of hymns, whether it be in public or in
INDEX OF FIRST LINES
Abide with me! fast falls the eventide i66
A charge to keep I have i44
A deep and holy awe 171
A few more years shall roll 40
A hymn of glory let us sing 108
Alas! and did my Saviour bleed 64
All glory be to God on high 131
All glory, praise, and honor 76
All hail the power of Jesus' name! 81
A Mighty Fortress is our God 180
Angels from the realms of glory 22
Another year is dawning 39
A pilgrim and a stranger 230
Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep 226
As with gladness men of old 44
Awake, my soul, and with the sun 154
Away in a manger, no crib for His bed 28
Before the Lord we bow 207
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: for He hath visited and re-
deemed His people 18
Brief life is here our portion 41
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning 46
Calm on the listening ear of night 31
Christ Jesus lay in Death's strong bands 89
Christ the Lord is risen again 91
Christ the Lord is risen today 90, 94
Come, Holy Ghost, in love 122
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire 123
Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord ! 114
Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove 66
Come, let us anew our journey pursue 42
Come, my soul, thou must be waking 151
Come, O come, Thou quickening Spirit 118
Come, Thou almighty King 128
Come, ye thankful people, come 206
Commit thou all thy griefs 218
Conquering Prince and Lord of glory 105
256 INDEX OF FIRST LINES
Draw us to Thee, Lord Jesus no
Fear not, O little flock, the foe, 193
From Greenland's icy mountains 49
Glorious things of Thee are spoken 187
Glory be to God on high 20
Glory be to Jesus 71
God bless our native land! 212
God of mercy! God of grace! 59
Good news from heaven the angels bring 27
Go to dark Gethsemane 70
Great God! we sing that mighty Hand 37
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah 138
Hail, Father, Son and Holy Ghost 131
Hail, holy, holy, holy Lord! 83, 130
Hail the day that sees Him rise 112
Hail, Thou once despised Jesus! 66
Hark ! the herald-angels sing 24
Hark! what m.ean those holy voices? 25
He leadeth me! O blessed thought! 140
Here behold me, as I cast me 169
Holy Father, hear my cry 133
Holy, holy, holy Lord 133
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!. 126
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds 34
I am Jesus' little lamb 100
If thou but suffer God to guide thee 221
I gave My life for thee 148
I love Thy Zion, Lord 190
In the Cross of Christ I glory 74
It came upon the midnight clear 30
I think, when I read that sweet story of old loi
I would not live alway; I ask not to stay 223
Jerusalem, the golden 231
Jesus Christ, my sure defence 227
Jesus, Hail! enthroned in glory 68
Jesus, Lover of my soul 233
Jesus! Name of wondrous love ! 35
Jesus, pro me perforatus 238
Jesus shall reign where'er the sun S3> 66
Jesus, still lead on 13S
Jesus, Sun of Righteousness 152
Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness ij7
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! 66
Just as I am, without one plea 62
INDEX OF FIRST LINES 257
Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us 127
Light of the Gentile nations 46
Lord God, we worship Thee 206
Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy word 176
Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace 21
May the grace of Christ our Saviour 133
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord 214
My Church! my Church! my dear old Church! 225
My country, 'tis of thee 209
My faith looks up to Thee 1 74
My Jesus, as Thou wilt! 216
My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in
God my Saviour 16
Nearer, my God, to Thee 241, 245
Now hushed are woods and waters 164
Now pray we all God, the Comforter 117
Now thank we all our God 202
O God of Jacob, by whose hand 38
Oh, enter, Lord, Thy temple 120
Oh, help us. Lord ! each hour of need 78
O Holy Spirit, enter in 120
O how shall I receive Thee? 9
O Uttle town of Bethlehem 29
One sweetly solemn thought 41, 143
On Jordan's banks the herald's cry 12
Onward, Christian soldiers 200
O sacred Head, now wounded 68
Oh, say, can you see by the dawn's early light! 213
O Thou, who through this holy week 80
Our God, our Help in ages past 36
Out of the depths I cry to Thee 58
O where are kings and empires now? 192
Paschal Lamb by God appointed 68
Rejoice, all ye believers 14
Ride on, ride on in majesty! 77
Rock of Ages, cleft for me 236
Saviour, breathe an evening blessing 168
Saviour, like a shepherd lead us 99
Saviour, sprinkle many nations .^ 56
Saviour, teach me day by day .' 91
See the Conqueror mounts in triumph 109
Shepherd of tender youth 102
Show pity, Lord; O Lord ! forgive 60
258 INDEX OF FIRST LINES
Silent night! Holy night! 32
Sion, the marvellous story be telling 26
Softly now the light of day 159
Songs of thankfulness and praise 45
Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear 160
Take my life and let it be.^ 147
The Church's one foundation 189
The day of Resurrection! 96
The Lord my Shepherd is 98
The morning bright 156
There is no name so sweet on earth 35
The Son of God goes forth to war 52
The strife is o'er, the battle done! 85
Thou Judge of quick and dead 12
Thou, whose almighty word 54
Very old stone, split for my benefit 238
We give Thee but Thine own 146
Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say 87
We praise Thee, O God ! We acknowledge Thee to be the Lord . 247, 251
When His salvation bringing 79
When in the hour of utmost need 197
When I survey the wondrous Cross 65
While shepherds watched their flocks by night 23
WTiile with ceaseless course the sun 42
Ye servants of the Lord 145
Zion stands with hills surrounded 191
INDEX OF PERSONS
Adams, Sarah F 8i, 240
Adams, Wm. B 241
Adolphus, Gustavus 193
Alexander, James W 69
Alfonso, St 72
Alford, Rev. Henry 206
Altenberg, Johann Michael . . .194
Ambrose, Bishop of Milan,
Asaph, Dean of 50
Bacon, Leonard Woolsey 182
Baring-Gould, Rev. S 199
Bede, Venerable 107
Benson, Louis F 139
Bernard, St., of Clairvaux . . 34, 69
Bernard, St., of Cluny. . . .40, 230
Bernard of Italy 77
Bethune, Geo. W 35
Blakewell, John 67
Bonar, Horatius, 40, 132
Borthwick, Miss Jane,
13, 153, 216, 229
Bowring, Sir. John 73
Brandenburg, Elector Freder-
ick Wilhelm of 229
Brandenburg, Louise Henri-
etta, electress of 228
Brooks, C. T 212
Brooks, Phillips 28
Bugenhagen, Johann 198
Bunsen, Baron 164
Camerarius, Joachim, 198
Canitz,von, Friedrich Rudolph,
Carey, Henry 211
Carey, Phoebe 41, 141
Caswell, E 73
Cawood, John 25
Chandler, John 12
Charlemagne 77, 124
Charles II of England 154
Charles V. of Germany 198
Charles, Mrs. Elizabeth Run-
die _ 15
Clement of Alexandria 103
Coflin, Charles 12
Colenso, Bishop 188
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor 252
Con well, Russell H 142
Cox, Bishop A. Cleveland. 55, 192
Cox, Frances Elizabeth 165
Cranmer, Archbishop 86
Crueger, Johann 205
Damascus, John 95
Decius, Nikolaus 131
Dix, Wm. Chatterton 43
Doane, Bishop George W 159
Doddridge, Philip 36, 145
D wight, J. S 212
Dwight, Timothy 190
Dyke, John B 127, 140
Eber, Dr. Paul 197, 198
Edmeston, James, 128, 167
Edward, King of England .... 244
Ekkehard, Monk of St. Gall. .124
Ekman, Conrad Oscar 196
Ellerton, John 86
Elliott, Charlotte 61
Ewing, Alexander 231
INDEX OF PERSONS
Faber, F. W 73
Fabricius, Jacob 194
Fliedner, Pastor 222
Flower, Mr 240
Fortunatus, Venatius 86
Franck, Johann 46, 206
Frederick the Great 204, 229
Funcke, Friederich no
Gellert, Christian F 93
George, King of South Sea
10, 69, 120, 164, 218, 229
Gihnore, J. H 140
Gladstone, Wm. E 237
Gould, Rev. S. Baring 199
Gray, Bishop 188
Gregory the Great 1 24
Gruber, Franz SS
Guizot, M 106
Gwyne, Nell 155
Handel, George Friederich,
Havergal, Frances Ridley . 38, 147
Hayn, Henrietta Louise von . . 99
45, 49, 52, 126, 134, 242
Heinrich, Karl 116
Held, Heinrich 117
Henning, Stephan 220
Hesse, Landgrave of 115
Hickson, William Edward . . . .212
Hill, Rowland 191
Holden, Oliver 82
Homes, Oliver Wendell 210
How, Wm. Walsham 34, 146
Howe, Julia Ward 215
Jacobs, Henry E 245
Julian, John 57
Kayser, Leonidas 115
Keble, John 160
Kelley, Thomas. •. 191
Ken, Bishop 80, 153
Key, Francis Scott 206, 213
King, Joshua 79
Kingsley, George 224
Klug, J.. . 177
Knorr, Christian Baron von
Koestlin, Theodore 181
Laurenti, Laurentius 13
Leeson, Miss Jane 91
Lewis, Charles G 184
Livingstone, Alfred 38
Louis, Emperor 77
Luke, Jemima Thompson loi
Luther, Martin... 27, 28, 57, 88
114, 116, 158, 176, 181, 203, 252
Lyte, Rev. Henry Francis. . .165
Macaulay, Thomas 155
Mackay, Margaret 226
Madan, Rev. Spencer 129
Marenzo, L 205
Marriott, John 54
Mary, the Virgin 15
Mason, Lowell. 51, 173, 210, 242
Massie, Richard 89
Melanchthon, Philip. . . . 182, 198
Mendelssohn Bartholdi, Felix,
23, 25, 132, 205
Milman, Henry Hart 78
Mohr, Joseph 31
Montgomery, James 22,71
Muhlenberg, Hon. Frederick
Augustus 208, 224
Muhlenberg, Henry Melchior,
26, 219, 224
Muhlenberg, Gen. Peter 208
Muhlenberg, Wm. Augustus,
Munzer, Thomas 115
McDougall, Bishop 93
McKinley, William 244
Napolean Bonaparte 250
Neale, John Mason,
40, 79, 8s, 95, 231
Neander, Joachim 169
Neumark, George 220
Newman, Cardinal 139
Newton, John. . . 34, 41, '^33, 187
INDEX OF PERSONS
Nicholas II, Czar 249
Nitschmann, David 183
Notker of St. Gall 90, 124
Nottage, G. S., Lord Mayor.. 93
Orton, J 145
Palmer, Rev. Ray 121, 173
Perronet, Edward 81
Perthes, Frederick 116
Pick, Dr. Bernard 183
Pott, Rev. Francis 85
Prague, Jerome of 86
Rinkart, Martin 198, 203
Robert, the Devout 123
Runge, Christopher 229
Sanderson, INIrs 214
Saunders, Frederick 195
Schaeffer, Charles W 117
Schaff, Phillip i3> 69
Schiller, von, J. C. F 165
Schmolcke, Benjamin 216
Scott, Rev. E. P 82
Scott, Sir Walter 50
Searles, Edwin H 30
Shiple)', dean of St. Asaph .... 50
Sigibert, King of Austrasia 86
Simeon, the Prophet 21
Sleidan, Johann 182
Smith, Rev. Samuel Francis. . 210
Spener, Philip Jacob 171, 196
Stead, William T 98, 140, 182
Stone, Samuel J 188
Sullivan, Sir Arthur Seymour. .199
Summers, Rev. Thos. 156
Tate, Nahum 22
Taylor, John 59
Tersteegen, Gerhard 104
Theodulph of Orleans 77
Tholuck, Friedrich A. G 235
Thring, Godfrey 157
Toplady, Augustus M 236
Vensen, Hans 117
Vernon, Admiral 211
Victoria, Queen 238, 249
Wackernagel, C. E. P 120
Wallenstein, General 194
Walther, John 116, 182
W^angemann, Dr 219
V/arton, Joseph 177
Watts, Isaac. . .35, 52, 59, 64, 98
Webbe, Samuel 41
Weisse, Michael 92
Wesley, Charles. . . .13, 23,42,93,
95, III, 129, 130, 144, 232, 237
Wesley, John 137, 218, 220
Whitfield, G 129
William, Emperor of Germany 204
William III, of England 155
Williams, Aaron 190
Williams, Rev. Peter 138
Williams, Rev. V\'illiam 138
Wink worth, Catherine. . .93, 104,
116, 120, 179, 197, 204, 206,
Wisdom.e, R. S 177
Woodbridge, Wm. C 211
44, 109, 133
Zacharias, the High Priest .... 17
Ziegenbalg, Bartholomew. . . .116
Zinsendorf, Count. . . .92, 135, 136